Panic Disorder, 2019
Mixed media installation, double- sided tape, single-channel video
6 min 12 sec
Courtesy of the artist
During Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Movement, the police referred to the protesters as cockroaches. Luke Ching first used double-sided adhesive tape to make sculptures of cockroaches when he was a student, twenty years ago. However, due to his fear of this insect, he has never examined their real structure, nor has he sketched them—not even using photographs, far less real specimens. There are many fantastical details in his man-made, artificial cockroaches, in which certain features are magnified and some non-realistic parts added. In fact, if one closely compares the man-made cockroach to a real one, they do not look similar at all. In Panic Disorder, Ching creates the terrifying cockroach of his fantasy. The work implies that people often legitimize extreme violence inflicted on political demonstrations because they demonize, animalize, or even objectify the other.
Luke Ching (b. 1972, Hong Kong) twists the roles of artists and observers within and beyond the city. He breeds a discursive system with a good mix of humor, responding to and interrogating the cultural and political collisions occurring in Hong Kong. Ching has participated in exhibitions and residencies worldwide. In 2016, he was awarded the Artist of the Year (Visual Art) Award by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. His Undercover Worker project was recently shortlisted for the Visible Award 2019. Solo exhibitions include Liquefied Sunshine (Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong, 2019), For Now We See Through a Window (Gallery EXIT, Hong Kong, 2016), Folk Art Series (Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery, Blackburn, United Kingdom, 2008). Selected group exhibitions include Dismantling the Scaffold (Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong, 2018), Gwangju Biennale (2018), Residency program in Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Fukuoka, Japan, 2006) and MoMA PS1 Contemporary Arts Center Studio Program (New York, 2000).