Art » Local Voices » JJ Ngai

Bio / Statement

JJ Ngai

JJ Ngai is a young contemporary artist who delivers his unique perspective through an unconventional aesthetic voice. From the sly grimace of a beagle to a shapely can of Spam, from the thumping of a beating heart to an overactive liver, Ngai's work invites the public on a multi-dimensional journey by introducing new life to the seemingly-mundane of the ordinary.

Ngai attended the Masters degree in Fine Arts program at the City & Guild London School of Art in 2006 and has held two previous solo exhibitions in Hong Kong including "Figure Figures" in 2006 and "Good is the New Black" in 2009 along with various collaborative exhibitions in Athens, London and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai.

JJ Ngai

Organ series

Ngai's first solo show of paintings was entitled "Figure Figures" in which he used himself as a model and subject. Through exploration of his own self image in various dress and appearance, he took on diverse roles as expressed through different stereotypes. The show addressed the question of how identity is created through the projection of social and cultural images.

In Ngai's second solo show "Animotion", he used a series of animal portraits to illustrate how we express our identity by projecting it onto other beings surrounding us in our everyday life – in this case, animals.

In this new series "Organs", Ngai explores the idea that identity is not a single or fixed unit, but is instead a compilation of different and fluid individual elements. Each organ of the body is a life in and of itself.

Through this current series of paintings, Ngai continues to explore the origin of our character and personality, and how our physical self relates directly to the actions we take and how we choose live our lives.

Today's medical advances offer the possibility to transplant almost every body part into a different body. Perhaps one day when we can technically transplant enough body parts to actually build a brand new identity?