Taipa Village Cultural Association invited young artist Felix Vong to present his first solo exhibition in Taipa Village entitled “The First Contemporary Art Museum of Macau” which exhibits over 25 art pieces inspired by international artists. Felix uses appropriation to rework and rethink about contemporary art and cultural history, half of the works are produced by himself, while half of the works are produced in collaboration with other artists from Portugal. This conceptual approach attempts to develop the authorship in works of art, aesthetic fields, and an alternative retrospective of contemporary arts.
Felix Vong is a young local artist, who has had the opportunity to extend his studies at the University of Lisbon’s School of Fine Arts (Faculdade de Belas-Artes), an experience which has deeply impacted his global view, his approach to and engagement in producing works of art, and ultimately his way of assuming the role of an artist. His first solo show back at his hometown, after a five-year hiatus, is an audacious act of conceiving his own personal museum. Let’s just say that once you drink from [Marcel] Duchamp’s Fountain, you can never go back to the way things were (apologies to those who don’t get the joke: google it!).
All works of art presented in the current show, more than 25, are in fact miniature forgeries either made by the artist himself or with the help of other accomplices who had the courage to attach their names to the act. These forgeries are all reproductions of renowned international artists that have had their names carved in contemporary art history books and are respected by scholars and idolized by other artists. I believe some local collectors may have had a similar experience in the past, for it was not too long ago that in passing the border gate to Zhuhai one could access an underground mall in which certain shops, populated by anonymous mainland painters, would reproduce any painting of one’s liking, no matter its size or visual content, with quite an astonishing level of similitude to the original.
However, now we are faced with the artist’s clear intention, and this changes the entire perspective, which could be seen as a conceptual leap towards the simulacrum. This in turn raises fundamental questions to the conventional mind who views these so-called forgeries (Or should we call them works of conceptual art?) Why is copying relevant? Who is this artist? What does this exactly mean? The artistic landscape is a vast forest, and Vong selects his favorite spots in which to camouflage himself as he continues to forge his way through. These different disguises may ultimately be interpreted as a reflection of himself as an artist through the visual content of other renowned works of art.
About Felix Vong
“I simulate therefore I am.”
Born in 1989 in Macau, Felix obtained a degree in graphic design and advertising. He currently works and lives in Lisbon, where he is completing his master’s degree in Fine Arts at University of Lisbon’s School of Fine Arts (Faculdade de Belas-Artes). Felix’s body of work encompasses painting, drawing, institutional critique, illustration and photography. He is interested in the impact of imitation, appropriation, vandalism, mockery, dark humour and hoaxes in the space between the fake and the real. His first self-published fanzine, “Can You Speak Louder?” was published last year. He is a core member of Zaratan – Arte Contemporânea in Lisbon, a non-profit artist-run space where he shares his artistic and philosophical quests amid the mimetic functions of a gallery employee. Having been exhibited and performed frequently in Lisbon, his work is part of several private collections in Portugal, France, Italy and Macau.
“Imagine that there is a contemporary art museum where we can see every artist that we love, every single art piece which touched all of us for all this time and inspired us to make art, to think about art, to learn about art,” said Felix Vong. “We don’t need to fly to the Museum of Modern Art in New York to see the works of Andy Warhol or Joseph Beuys. We don’t need to travel to Tate Modern in London to see the works of David Hockney or Yoko Ono. All we need is imagination and some sense of humour to make this happen.”
– Felix Vong
Supporter: Cultural Development Fund of the Macao SAR
Online Exhibition: 10/02/2024 – 31/03/2024
Taipa Village Art Space, No. 16-18, Rua dos Clerigos, Taipa, Macau
Monday - Sunday
12 pm - 8 pm