Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影
Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影

Eaten Your Fill of Rice? Series 食飽飯未呀? 系列
Large-scale Photography series as
site-specific Installation
1998 - ongoing
Lambda Print with Mixed Media

4 panels, 4 x 4 feet each

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影

View of one section of the commissioned
site-specific installation as public art.
Monumentally sized to the 8 stories
high atrium as the Main Cultural
Component of the World Food Prize
Foundation International Symposium
at Capital Square, Des Moines, IA. 2004.

15 panels, 8 x 8 feet each

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
Well of Reasons 井井有條
2014
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

The Chinese idiom 「井井有條」 as - "In Perfect Order," in which each stripe in its own color, and rational. The character 井 - "Well" - a symbol for providing a constant, inexhaustible supply of nourishment for humanity is an abstract form of two vertical lines over with two horizontal lines forming a cross grid. “Well” is also the 48th hexagram of the I Ching 易經的四十八卦, stating that a well can only be deepen in one direction, the essential, and in reaching to the core of true nourishment great care must be taken. Never be shallow and always be respectful, for each well has its own source. This idiom is rooted from Confucianist Xunzi 荀子 (ca. 312–230 BCE) -《荀子·儒效》: 「井井兮其有理也」 - "For everything has its reason."

Our society is an interaction of individuals of "All Stripes" bringing out the Best of Color in all of us - The Foundation of The Perfect Order. The contribution of the diaspora is vital and validated in the development of the world culture.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
Griefless Peace 安上無憂
2014
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

Iron Rice Bowl 鐵飯碗, a Chinese idiom used to refer to an occupation of cradle to grave job security stemed from the Mao era 毛時代 (1949 – 1976) China often with the military, civil service or the state run enterprises. (‘iron-clad’ job of steady income – 無憂 = Griefless) A full bowl of rice sitting on top 上 of endless rolls of Andy Warhol’s (安迪·沃霍爾 – 安 = Peace) (1928 - 1987) iconic empty Campbell’s Soup metal cans.

Homage to Warhol.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
The Simulacrum Elephant 摸象擬像
2014
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

The Chinese word 像 is a phono-semantic compound character of “Elephant” 象 xiàng with the radical 亻 rén “human” - (亻+ 象 = 像) means “Picture, Image, Figure, Statue, Resemble.”

Jean Baudrillard (1929 – 2007) wrote in “Simulacra and Simulation” (French: Simulacres et Simulation) (1981) 擬仿物與擬像 on the human experience in our media-oriented society is seldom on a first-person basis, it is a simulation of reality. Parable to the Indian fable of “Blind Men and an Elephant” 「盲人摸象」 an impression often at best - a partial secondary sensation accepted as the truth.

A graphic example of this phenomenon is Warhol’s (1928 - 1987) limited edition garish color label Campbell’s Tomato Soup issued in 2004, 2006, and 2012 on the 50th anniversary of Warhol transforming Campbell's soup cans into art form.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
Maxim of The Art of War 吳宮教戰
2014
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

A tableau of centipede (蜈蚣 – 吳 Wu), cricket (蟋蟀 – 冠 = 宮 Palace), and scissor (鉸剪 = 教戰 Battle Lesson) fashioned in motifs of “Camouflage” and “Daisy” à la Warhol’s (1928 - 1987) engagement with war in the contemporary context of Chinese history. In 吳宮教戰 “Battle Lesson at the Wu Palace” King Helü of the State of Wu 吳王闔閭 (r. 514 – 496 BCE) tested Sun Tzu’s strategy 孫武 (c. 535 BCE – ?) in his military treatise “The Art of War” 孫子兵法 in a war game with his personal harem ended with the sacrifice of his two favorites concubines. Soon after in 506 BCE King Helü launched five major offensive attacks against the State of Chu 趙國 winning all the battles and extending all the border lines of his empire - only in his time, now the “Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club” 蘇州太湖國際高爾夫俱樂部.

In our time of proxy warfare with nations on ends armed with not only weapons of mass destruction but total annihilation at the press of a button while the media showing glorified bloodless killing as entertainment on censored TV, what will be the price and cost of war this time around?

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
‘Tis to be… 做為如何
2014
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

“To be or not to be...” (做,定唔做 … Cantonese translation) the opening phrase of Shakespeare’s Hamlet soliloquy - regardless of where the focus is “Life vs. Death” or “Action vs. Non-Action,” a devout consummation to wish is to live. Often compared to the ideas of the Existentialists, but decision is not a matter of choice but ability, within a given context. Thus playwright Arthur Miller’s “Where choice begins, Paradise ends, innocence ends; for what is Paradise but the absence of any need to choose an action?”

太師椅 - the “Grand Master’s Chair” with a gold skull questions our mortality, further echoed by the silver skeleton hand on the edge of the square platter (In Chinese the physical world is a square). Chinese disapora often have to “work their fingers to the bone” but to what end? This Bowl of Rice is for Sustenance of Life or is it for Sacrifice to the Dead?

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
The Auspicious and Noble 祥雲朝龍
1998
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

The mythical dragon 龍 is the revered imperial symbol of the Emperor of China and the Chinese called themselves the "Descendants of the Dragon" 龍的傳人. The noble dragon is in its celestial domain among the cloud 雲 = 運氣 (Fortune), the bearer of rain and controller of floods - water, the nexus of life. The most distinctive Chinese bronze tripod vessel Jué 爵 used to hold libations of wine for the veneration of ancestors, here in celadon as part of the set.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
Favorable Abundance Infinitely 久餘順利
1998
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

Nine 九 = 久 (Infinite) gold-fishes 魚 = 餘 (Abundance) flow along 順流 (Favorable) with blue carp 鯉 = 利 (Benefit) china.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
Four Seasons of Brilliance 光澤四季
1998
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

The China Rose 月季 (Four Seasons) Rosa chinensis, native to Southwest China also known as the "Monthly Rose" for its extremely long, nearly continuous flowering season. Its beauty is an embodiment of an everlasting brilliance life.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
Mindful of the Seven Emotions 七情不惑
2000
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

The supernatural Ming Dynasty 明朝 novel "Journey to the West" 西遊記 attributed to Wu Cheng'en 吳承恩 (c. 1500-1582) a fantasied account based on Xuan Zang 玄奘 (602-664) 17 years westward overland journey to India. Tripitaka 唐三藏 the monk lured into a land of only women, hindering him of his mission of getting the holy sutra. His determination was able to overcome all trails and tribulations including the seven emotions 七情 in Buddhism; joy 喜, anger 怒, sorrow 哀, fear 懼, love 愛, hate 惡, and desire 欲.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
Fulfillment to All Desire 事事如意
2000
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

Persimmons 柿 = 事 (affairs/matters) with a plate of lingzhi fungus 靈芝, Ganoderma lucidum believes to be the legendary immortality herb similar in shape to the head of the wish-granting ceremonial scepter "Joo-i" 如意 (as one desires).

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
A Pearl of Wisdom in Each Word 字字珠機
1999
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

Each Chinese word is a Han character 漢字, grapheme/logogram - the embodiment of a concept. Every Chinese character is precise, its rules in the stroking, stroke placement and order. A meditation with rosary imparts wisdom. Use each word with care - a pearl of wisdom.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
Blessed with Progeny and Wealth 添丁富貴
1999
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

A green 綠 = 祿 (Status/Wealth) rice bowl with a child form miniaturized porcelain pillow 童子枕 - 丁 (Progeny) as chopstick rest surrounded by the queen of flowers, peony 牡丹 - 富貴花, an emblem of wealth and luxury.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
Providence 鴻光照世
1999
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

The red 紅 - 鴻運 (Good Fortune) bowl of rice glows radiant of providence in the state of omnipresence.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
Wise Beyond His Year 孔融讓梨
2000
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

When Kong Rong 孔融 (153 - 208 CE) of the late Eastern Han Dynasty 東漢末, a 20th generation descendant of Confucius 孔子 was four year old, his father offered him a basket filled with pears. He chose the smallest. Question of his selection, he innocently replied, "My brothers are all older, they eat more than me. I am small, I don't need much." His father was proud of his young son even at his tender age he is wise, unselfish, have respect and admiration for his elders. This story is quoted in the "Trimetric Classic" 三字經.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
Illuminating Pearl of Zen 明珠禪靈
1998
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

To cultivate and liberate tranquility, "emptiness," and distance from the outside world. The focus of Chán (Zen) 禪 Buddhism is to meditate and visualization to a single point of light illuminating from within.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
Power from Within 内有乾坤
1998
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

Within the egg lies its greatest strength, the embryo with its inner alchemy power of transcend. The perfect balance of the trigram Qian 乾 (Yang 陽) and trigram Kun 坤 (Yin 陰) in harmony with the Tao 道.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
Bountiful Security and Ample Nourishment 豐衣足食
1998
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

A bountiful harvest of a set of nine 九 = 久 (Infinite) seeds - arrow head, chestnut, ginkgo, melon seed, peanut, sunflower seed, water chestnut, and water caltrop. Each seed in its natural covering 豐衣 (Rich clothing) to protect and to nourish 足食 (Sufficient food) itself with promise of what is to come.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
Longevity and Serendipity 多壽雙彩
1998
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

The peaches 桃 - 壽 (Longevity) in the Daoist deity Xi Wangmu 西王母, Queen Mother of the West’s paradise on Mount Kunlun 崑崙山 flower once every three thousands year and take another three thousands year to bear fruit. Whoever ate them will bestow with immortality. We are presented with these transcendent peaches served on two 雙multi-colored 多彩 - 好彩 (Serendipity) plates.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
A Bountiful Harvest 五穀豐登
2004
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

In the Analects of Confucius 論語 (c. 475 – 221 BCE), “Five Grains” 五穀 was acknowledged as the essential staple. A harvest of a single grain is a joy but harvesting of five different grains - rice, corn, millet, wheat, and soy 稻、黍、稷、麥、菽, is a blessings that need to be shared and enjoy. A bountiful harvest assures more than prosperity, for lacking of it as warned by Mozi 墨子 (c. 470 – 391 BCE) in The Seven Causes of Anxiety 七患 on the state governance, are that “Failure of One Grain is called Dearth 饉; Failure of Two Grains is called Scarcity 旱; Failure of Three Grains is called Calamity 凶; Failure of Four Grains is called Want 餽; and Failure of t Five Grains is called Famine 饑.” The maintenance and sustenance of an Ecological Diverse Production of Food goes hand-in-hand with World Security for they are the Foundation of Global Harmony. We are our brother’s keeper and the Custodian of the Future.

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Chee Wang Ng Conceptual Photo | 概念攝影 Lambda Print
The Great Laugther 哈哈大笑
1999
Lambda Print
4 x 4 feet

Shrimp 蝦 = 哈 (Ha, Ha!) is a festivity delicacy. There are two related bowls, a big and a small 大小 = 大笑 (Great Laughter), each related and similar yet as individual like a father and his son of a family; and the hierarchy of our society.

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