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Typically, when you walk into a Rolls-Royce automobile showroom, you see craftsmanship that has been perfected over the years—tires, engines, steel, and leather, all wrapped into one beautifully encompassed moveable package that is waiting for you to drive away. Recently though, at Art Basel Hong Kong, the inside of one particular showroom in Wanchai was not limited to a selection of cars ready and willing to be taken away, but also a multimedia sensory exhibit ready to be taken in.
Untitled — Expressway was installed on the showroom floor to showcase a multi-channel video compilation of abstract and archived footage that was taken on a drive from Hong Kong to a satellite “new town,” to show the city’s prehistoric history. The virtual voyage goes beyond the floor to be seen on video projections and inside the vehicles’ rear component’s screens. The value of urban development is what Morgan Wong—the 31-year-old commissioned artist who has appeared globally in museums, galleries, and institutions—desired to express.
Wong said, “With Rolls-Royce’s unique standing in the history of Hong Kong and the brand’s constant pursuit of perfection, I am inspired to embark on a new work that delves into the notion of development through the effortless speed of an automobile. The flashing lights emitted from the abstract videos in Untitled – Expressway will be seemingly fragmented, reminiscent of the city from the eye of an imaginary character inside the vehicle.”
Wong wanted to show Rolls-Royce’s sense of timelessness by way of a multimedia exhibit, presented in partnership with Pearl Lam Galleries. “I am particularly delighted to see Rolls-Royce supporting the work of Morgan Wong, an emerging Hong Kong artist with tremendous talent and scope. For this project Morgan has created a video work documenting a journey through Hong Kong exploring the city’s transformation and continuing his focus on duration and timelessness,” said Lam.
Closing remarks came from Paul Harris, Asia Pacific Regional Director of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, who said, “In Morgan Wong’s work, we see a convergence of technology and art. It bears an interesting parallel to the confluence of Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke craftsmanship and the cutting edge technologies used both in our manufacturing and on-board Rolls-Royce cars themselves. Recent collaborations have focused on digital art and light commissions, frequently inspired by Rolls-Royce automobiles themselves, celebrating the dynamism and momentum of our marque.”