Ilyn Wong

United States
1982
Statement

I construct physical, emotional, and conceptual spaces to investigate the intersection between history, memory, and fiction. My work often oscillates between large historical narratives and intimately personal ones. The space created by these seeming dichotomies is also one where conceptual rigor can co-exist with personal and emotive impulses – where the tongue-in-cheek is also utterly sincere.

An ongoing mixed-media project titled An Archaeology of You proposes “you” as both the site of an archaeological study as well as the relic. It is the coming together of several research interests that first grew out of the notion of historical amnesia that describes the experience of the second half of the 20th century in many post-conflict countries, including my own – Taiwan. If “you” is regarded as an archaeology, it exists only in the past and can be only understood through fragments and hypotheses. If you belong to a history that is unknowable, and I can only understand myself through you, then I cannot fully know myself – my history is in fact, an amnesia.The project is a study in a poetic subversion to the dominant and patriarchal forms of historymaking, one that focuses on collective “we’s” and demonized “they’s,” so that “you,” a decidedly unacademic pronoun, one that surfaces in epistolary writings and popular music, also suggests a kind of empathy towards the subjects “we” investigate.

While in residence at GlogaurAIR, I intend to continue working on several projects as well as start a new body of work that investigates the caricarization of the monstrous and demonic as a way to describe historical violence.

Profile
GlogauAIR Project
CV Summary