A Psychedelic Trip Back to Hong Kong in the 1960s

As a visitor to San Francisco’s Chinatown, artist Adrian Wong noticed an uncannily familiar visual aesthetic resonating from the architecture while roaming the streets.

Adrian Wong


It transported him to a time and place made famous by the golden age of Hong Kong cinema–to British-ruled Hong Kong of the 1960s and 1970s. From the color palette of the mosaic tiled exteriors to the inexpensive chandeliers, he noticed a replication of the traditional Taoist influenced designs melded with psychedelic themes that were transposed and ersatz but striking in their nostalgic remixing of iconic elements.

From his flaneur inspired transnational jaunts comes six sculptures intended to initiate a dialogue between the simulacrum and the original for his latest exhibition Orange Peel, Harbor Seal, Hyperreal.

During his research, Wong has managed to collected a number of artifacts including tiles from a famed wall in Hong Kong that possesses an interleaved aesthetic variation that reflects the cycle of urban renewal effort, with some tiles dating back all the way to the 1950s. Two of Wong’s works will explore the layered history of Hong Kong through these tiles and give a retroactive glimpse back at the cultural history of the unique region.

Orange Peel, Harbor Seal, Hyperreal will open on May 12, 2012 at the Chinese Culture Center and will be open to the public for viewing from 1pm to 4pm for free.  After the opening, the exhibit can be seen Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 4pm until Aug. 25. For more information, visit www.c-c-c.org or call 415-986-1822.

Wong will also be presenting his work concurrently at the Asian Art Museum’s Phantoms of Asia contemporary art exhibition beginning May 16 along with 31 other international artists.