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TOKYO

“Ming Wong: Life of Imitation”

Hara Museum, Tokyo

by Mike Hamilton

For “Life of Imitation,” Berlin-based Singaporean artist Ming Wong’s video installations reinterpret famous movies. Taking on some roles himself and re-casting others with actors and actresses of different nationalities, he mimics scenes from classic films such as Wong Kar Wai’s “In the Mood for Love.”

This group of installations, which includes Wong’s “In Love for the Mood,” was originally commissioned for the Singapore Pavilion of the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, where it won him a Special Mention.

Wong’s works have a strong emphasis on peoples’ cultural and national roots and issues of race. For the installation “Life of Imitation,” he reworks a scene from Douglas Sirk’s 1959 drama “Imitation of Life,” in which a black mother reunites with her fair-skinned daughter who has been hiding her ethnic identity. For the installation Wong casts Chinese, Malay and Indian male actors in the female roles.

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, (03) 3445-0651, 4-7-25 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, 15-min walk from Takanawa Exit , Shinagawa Station, JR lines. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. ¥1,000. Closed Mon. www.haramuseum.or.jp.