Satirical artist Kacey Wong’s (黃國才) latest solo exhibition — his first since moving here from Hong Kong last year — is a wakeup call for Taiwanese.
“They can look at me as an oracle,” says Wong, who was on the front lines of Hong Kong’s 2014 pro-democracy “Umbrella movement” protests. His politically-driven artwork has long skewered the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), most recently focusing on the regime’s authoritarian crackdown, including mass arrests in Hong Kong.
The Tainan exhibition, ominously titled “Battlefield Apocalypse,” features about 20 new and old works of art. Opening last month at 182artspace, the show continues through April 25.
Photo courtesy of Kacey Wong
Wong will give an artist’s talk at the gallery on Sunday, focusing on how art can contribute to political resistance.
The multi-media piece, Ghost Recon, features a video of Wong dressed in soldier’s fatigues. As he walks through the jungle into an abstract world he discovers a dead body, only to realize that he is the one who has died.
“We’re all facing the same fear,” Wong says. “It’s about a heightened sense of anxiety about what may come.”
Photo courtesy of Kacey Wong
In a narrow walkway on the gallery’s rooftop, a flashing red and green neon sign declares that today’s Hong Kong is tomorrow’s Taiwan. It’s a warning, Wong said bluntly, as is the war in Ukraine. While the conflict is being waged far away, it cannot be ignored that something similar could happen here, he says.
The sculpture Dragon Slayer Missile Launcher imagines how Taiwan’s traditional temples would be used to protect the nation against a Chinese invasion. It’s playful but with serious undertones, a common theme of Wong’s artwork.
In 2012, Wong paraded a big pink tank through the streets of Hong Kong to protest what he saw as political corruption and the CCP’s interference in the affairs of the city. Named The Real Culture Bureau, it’s one of the many sculptures Wong brought with him from his flight from Hong Kong — a move he’s characterized as one of self exile.
Photo courtesy of Kacey Wong
Wong said he’s thankful for the artistic freedom he can enjoy in Taiwan. This kind of exhibition, with overtly political artwork, most likely would have landed the 51-year-old artist in a Hong Kong jail.
“I want to show how citizens can fight back with dignity,” Wong says. Taiwanese have the will to stand up to aggression, Wong adds, but it’s a matter of being prepared.
The nation should continue to increase its defense spending while bolstering its ties to the US, Japan and Korea he says.
“But you don’t have to be a soldier to fight,” Wong says. “Everybody can fight.”

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