一百鬼 / 100 Ghosts
一百鬼 / 100 Ghosts is a reimagining of the printing process as a ritual for invocation. The work uses joss paper (also known as spirit money), muslin, and images of Wong, her grandma, and the female icons represented as 100 Ghosts in Chinese eschatology. Leading from Wong’s research in Chinese ancestral worship practices and diasporic hauntology, print and its procedures became the media and ritual to look for ghosts as they manifest as traces of an un-representable history and obscure future.
The process of print involves the meticulous execution of a ritual intended to control an image. To disrupt this order is to surrender control and enter the forsaken space of errata. In collaboration with printer Meggan Winsley, Annie Wong’s residency risked entering this space in an obsessive hunt for ghosts sublimated through an imperfect performance of the printing ritual. The quantity of the images alludes to the abundant offerings in Chinese ancestral ceremonies as much as to an excess of errata symptomatic of a repetition-compulsive ritual. What emerges are unforeseen faces of accidental design, surfacing as spirits situated between history and prophecy.
Created in collaboration with the spirits, this body of work is not intended to be circulated as an object for human consumption or pleasure, or to exist too long with the living. It will be burned in a ritual following the artist’s future death.
一百鬼 / 100 Ghosts was printed at Open Studio in collaboration with Meggan Winsley under the auspices of the Visiting Artist Residency Program, 2019-20.
Steph Wong Ken. beyond the door. Exhibition poem commissioned by The N ew Gallery, 2021.