Exhibitions - Personal Ark

Mo Kong
Personal Ark

10.02.21 – 02.13.22

Year of Uncertainty (YoU)

In an orange hue room, angular structures form a downwards trend graph. A hanging lamp made of stacked glass vases wrapped in seaweed hangs from the top of the image.

Image: Installation view documenting stages of development from October to December 2021, "Mo Kong: Personal Ark", Queens Museum. Photo credit: Hai Zhang.

In their presentation for the Year of Uncertainty, Artist-In-Residence Mo Kong takes us into the not-so-distant future, introducing New Yorkool®, a fictional Asian immigrant-owned consulting firm that offers survival solutions to Americans post-ecological collapse. Emerging among the eerily familiar circumstances of environmental disaster and unprecedented economic and trade isolation, New Yorkool® capitalizes on vulnerable populations suffering from a lack of basic resources. Here in New York, residents are experiencing the hottest winter in history, and have limited access to locally produced fresh foods. New Yorkool® fulfills demand with its new-found methods, and in the process exploits the most basic insecurities of our systems, and the ravaging inequities that emerge from their failures.

Personal Ark inhabits parts of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park-facing entryway and one of the museum’s main galleries, where a central sculpture, growing over the course of the exhibition timeframe, showcases these innovations. Its contents and the surrounding installation incorporate narrative, branding, and sculpture, with purchased, found, and cultivated organic matter. Scent is particularly highlighted, drawing from research on the history of xenophobia and culturally-linked odors. Together this multisensory experience, reveals the dystopian intersection of capital, climate change and biopiracy, global migration, and self-identification that marks our present as much as our imminent future.

 

Mo Kong is a multidisciplinary artist and researcher. They received an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Kong works primarily in sculpture and installation to visualize their own scientific and journalistic research, and use climate change as a lens into contemporary geopolitics and human rights. Kong has had solo exhibitions at CUE Art Foundation, New York, NY; Artericambi Gallery, Verona, Italy; Gertrude, Stockbridge, MA; and Chashama, New York, NY. Their work has been exhibited at Queens Museum, Queens, NY; SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA; Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco, CA; Make Room Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and Rubber Factory, New York, NY; and others. They have been the recipient of fellowships and residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Triangle Art Association, MASS MoCA Studio, Vermont Studio Center, Gibney Performance Center, Lighthouse Works, and AAI. They are based in the neighborhood of Woodside, Queens.

Supporters

The Year of Uncertainty artist residencies and community partnerships are made possible by generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Lambent Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation. Major funding for the Queens Museum is generously provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.