Holly Wong: Phoenix at SLATE Contemporary

In Dialogue with Holly Wong

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Holly Wong working on “Phoenix.” Graphite on drafting film with sewing. 132 x 132 in. Photo courtesy of Al Wong

Phoenix, Holly Wong’s first solo show in the San Francisco Bay area is scheduled from April 1, 2021 through May 31, 2021 at SLATE in Oakland, features work she has created during the shelter in place order over the past year. These body of work reflects her spiritual and visual responses to the pandemic, and her sense of need for personal and social transformation through a wide variety of expressions, which include Phoenix, the large-scale drawing-based installation, other larger scale paintings on paper, a series of more intimate works on paper, and assemblages. Holly Wong says that as a response to her deep sense of loss and grief at the state of world affairs, she created a large mythical bird as a metaphor for her own body—”In Phoenix I see my desire for purification, cleansing and rebirth,” she says. When the artist thinks of the central theme of the show, she remembers excerpts from the Buddha’s Fire Sermon:

“The mind is burning, ideas are burning, mind-consciousness is burning, mind-contact is burning…” “Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hate, with the fire of delusion.”

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