Ming Wong

Rhapsody in Yellow: A Lecture-Performance with Two Pianos (2022)

At a time of rising tensions between the US and China, artist Ming Wong presents a musical lecture-performance that traces the Sino-American “ping-pong” diplomacy, starting with President Nixon’s historic state visit to Communist China and his meeting with Chairman Mao fifty years ago. Evoking an international piano competition and a table tennis match, two pianists collaborate on and improvise a performative unification of the sonic regimes of the US and China.

In a ping-pong double concerto accompanied by archival moving images and spoken word, they explore the role of European classical music, modernism, and mythmaking in the rise of these two nations in the 20th century. From table tennis and television to tanks and trade wars, Rhapsody in Yellow charts the changing balance of power between the US and China, in a duet of discord and harmony, chaos and serendipity, humor and pathos.

Ming Wong (1971, Singapore) is an artist working with cinema and popular culture to consider the construction, reproduction, and circulation of identity. Wong represented Singapore at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009 with the solo presentation Life of Imitation, which was awarded a Special Mention. He has had solo exhibitions at leading institutions worldwide, including UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo; Singapore Art Museum; REDCAT, Los Angeles; and Neuer Berliner Kunstverein. Wong has been included in numerous international biennials, including the Venice Biennale; Performa, New York; Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane; Sydney Biennial; Shanghai Biennale; Lyon Biennale; and the Liverpool Biennial. He lives in Berlin.

22.9., 21:00
23.9., 20:30


In English

Helmut List Halle
Waagner-Biro-Straße 98a
8020 Graz
♿ Venue accessible for wheelchairs

16/12 euros
→  Tickets

Education offer
Following the performance on 23.9.
Eat and Greet
In English
With Ming Wong, Henry Hao-An Cheng, Christopher Schlechte-Bond, Mark Taratushkin, and Ben Kim
Helmut List Halle (Halle C)
Free of charge within the framework of the performance
*Fully booked*


Conceptualized and produced by Ming Wong
Text and video: Ming Wong
Music director: Henry Hao-An Cheng
Pianists: Ben Kim, Mark Taratushkin
Music conceived by Ming Wong and Henry Hao-An Cheng, arranged by Christopher Schlechte-Bond
Cinematography and vision mixing: Liam Morgan
Video assistant: Elias Fritz
Sound technical support: Peter Weinsheimer
Production management: Mariko Mikami


Commissioned by steirischer herbst ’22 and Singapore Art Museum

Produced by steirischer herbst ’22

With the generous support of the AVL Cultural Foundation