- Frog King Kwok in Beijing April, 1979 Performance installation Tiananmen Square, Beijing
- Frog King Kwok at Poly 1979 Performance installation Hong Kong Polytechnic University Francis Fung playing with paper-throwing
- Frog King Kwok in Beijing April, 1979 Performance installationThe Great Wall, Beijing
In this installation, a fishing net hanging from the ceiling captures news clippings like an Internet search engine. The random nature of these search results is what the artist describes as ‘chance as material’. Printed on transparencies, these news clippings can be viewed from either the front or the back depending on which direction the viewer is travelling. Kwok calls ‘time as material’, and the non-linear, simultaneously liberated and confounding experience of temporality in the work allows viewers to shape their own narratives of the artist’s long career. Though referring to the very early stage of his artistic practice, this new installation still carries the signature participatory nature of Kwok’s work wherein he dresses unsuspecting viewers in his ‘Froggy’ glasses, and poses with them for seemingly endless photographs.
Frog King Kwok (Hong Kong, born 1947)
Frog King Kwok (aka Frog King) is one of Hong Kong’s earliest conceptual artists and a key figure in paving the way for performance art in Asia. Prior to forging new artistic ground within the Hong Kong art scene beginning in the late 1960s, Kwok studied with ink painting master Lui Shou-kwan. Whilst his peers were following the ink medium’s realist traditions, Kwok chose instead to translate ink into a new language by incorporating it into installations, conceptual works, and works he termed in Cantonese as happenings (hark bun lum). In the late 1970s, Kwok used found objects such as rotten eggs, fire, and plastic bags as materials to create sculptures and time-based happenings that took place in exhibition spaces such as the Hong Kong Art Centre and City Museum and Art Gallery. A firm believer in fully immersing himself—body, mind, and soul—into his artworks and the spaces around them, Kwok is a living embodiment of his practice. He works effortlessly across various disciplines, and has produced innumerable paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, graffiti, happenings, and spontaneous performances throughout his career. In 2011, he represented Hong Kong at the 54th Venice Biennale in an exhibition titled Frogtopia・Hongkornucopia.