Next Year / L’Année Prochaine / 明年

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Next Year / L’Année Prochaine / 明年

Mixed media installation featuring a single channel HDvideo (17:40min)

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“With Next Year / L’Année Prochaine / 明年, Singaporean artist Ming Wong revisits an icon of the French New Wave: L’Année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad, 1961) by Alain Resnais, written by Alain Robbe-Grillet. This film is still famous for the ambiguity of its narrative structure and its innovative cinematic language. The camera reflects the pace of the mind through repetition, reversal, freeze frame, and captures reality, memory, and illusion while inventing a sequential order different even from the internal logic of the montage.

Next Year / L’Année Prochaine / 明年 is no remake of the original movie, but a variation on the unequivocal shift desired by Resnais. Ming Wong emphasizes and confirms the loss of temporal and spatial markers by engaging in a dialectical and iconographic collage.

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This work is the second version of the piece initially produced for Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing in 2015. In the first version shot in the French Concession district in Shanghai, the artist performs both male and female characters. Notions of identity and gender fade as much as assert themselves in a strange and complex atmosphere. This time, a new editing combines the existing new scenes with new shots at Nymphenburg and Schleissheim Castles in Bavaria – where the film was originally shot in 1961, excerpts from the original film and from Hiroshima, mon amour (1959, by Resnais as well, written by Marguerite Duras) shot in Japan and in the streets of French city Nevers.

Between the meanders of time and forgetfulness advocated by L’Année dernière à Marienbad and passionate love inhabited by Atomic anxiety in Hiroshima, mon amour, this referential collage ignores the sacrosanct rule of unity of time, action and space. Representation and narrative levels meet there, overlap and blur. The result is a floating, dreamlike and pointedly artificial universe in a pure Dadaist logic that overcomes the notion of authorship and affiliation of the work.

The space of Next Year / L’Année Prochaine / 明年 is not real but mental. It’s colluding different realities and fictions to produce what Max Ernst called the “spark of poetry that arises from the approximation of the realities.”

Text by Étienne Bernard, director/curator of Passerelle Contemporary Art Center in Brest, France, where this work had its premiere.

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“In 明年 | Next Year | L’Année Prochaine, Ming Wong performs the male and female roles in fragments taken from Last Year in Marienbad (1961), written by Alain Robbe-Grillet and directed by Alain Resnais. The film is celebrated for its innovative cinematic language – the camera reflecting the pace of the mind through repetition, reversal, freeze frame, and white out-capturing reality, memory, and illusion while inventing a sequential order different even from the internal logic of the montage.
In the original film, the memory loss of the main character inhibits her thought process and time-”next year” compressed into now-loses all meaning.

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Ming Wong’s video works are generally based on excerpts of art films. From beginning to end, Last Year at Marienbad never makes reference to a specific location, and Ming Wong takes advantage of this fact to re-stage the work at Marienbad Café and Fuxing Park, both in Shanghai. Taking place in a café named after a French art film and a park combining French and Chinese gardening styles, neighborhoods and apartments that reference Chinese and Western architecture, the film hints at the notion that cultural perceptions of time remain unfixed. As a Singaporean artist based in Berlin, the artist’s cultural identity has often been used in interpretation of his work. However, cinema is inherently “transnational” and is used by the artist to reveal the synthesis of cultures. In 明年| Next Year | L’Année Prochaine, this is most clearly viewed in post-colonial Shanghai’s “Western-style” Marienbad Café, where Wong’s cinematic language and conscious structuring of the film are emphasized.”

Excerpt from the UCCA exhibition text by curator Venus Lau.


Installation shots, Passerelle Centre of Contemporary Art, Brest, France, 2016 :

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Next Year / L’Année Prochaine / 明年 (chinese)

明年 / Next Year / L'Année ProchaineNext Year / L’Année Prochaine / 明年

3 channel video installation

“在《明年》中,黄汉明一人分饰男女多角,重新 演绎 阿兰•罗伯格里耶编剧、阿伦•雷乃导演的电影《去年在马里昂巴德》的片段。这部电影讲述了一位住在奢华酒店中的女性邂逅一名陌生男子,他对她说他们在一年前的马里昂巴德会见过,那时他们已经相爱,并约定在此重逢、私奔;男子执拗的态度和口中的誓言让女子从莞尔一笑,到矢口否认,最终突然让步,与这位男子出走。影片的一大特色即是,通过剪辑和安排,将人的意识运动用影像语言表述。镜头时间随着思想活动的节奏——有时重复,有时倒退,有时纠缠不休,有时一片空白——而拍摄,现实、回忆、幻想不断交织、切换和闪回,既不遵循客观世界的轻重缓急和先后顺序,也不符合蒙太奇的叙事规律 。原作中女主角失忆,她的世界并没有思维的延绵,线性时间——链接着暗昧不明的“去年”之当下——毫无意义。黄汉明偏爱寻找戏剧化的电影故事题材进行翻拍,并一人饰演多角,在拍摄过程中体会主角强烈的内心情感。而《去年在马里昂巴德》将电影对客观世界的再现转换为对主观世界的再现,一方面让作为表演者的黄汉明的情绪更易于直接和外化地展示;另一方面,观众在凝视另一个主观世界时,仿佛在对视某种镜像,从而观看到自己的意识处理内在时间的方式。

明年 / Next Year / L'Année Prochaine


在《明年》中,黄汉明一人分饰男女多角,重新 演绎 阿兰•罗伯格里耶编剧、阿伦•雷乃导演的电影《去年在马里昂巴德》的片段。这部电影讲述了一位住在奢华酒店中的女性邂逅一名陌生男子,他对她说他们在一年前的马里昂巴德会见过,那时他们已经相爱,并约定在此重逢、私奔;男子执拗的态度和口中的誓言让女子从莞尔一笑,到矢口否认,最终突然让步,与这位男子出走。影片的一大特色即是,通过剪辑和安排,将人的意识运动用影像语言表述。镜头时间随着思想活动的节奏——有时重复,有时倒退,有时纠缠不休,有时一片空白——而拍摄,现实、回忆、幻想不断交织、切换和闪回,既不遵循客观世界的轻重缓急和先后顺序,也不符合蒙太奇的叙事规律 。原作中女主角失忆,她的世界并没有思维的延绵,线性时间——链接着暗昧不明的“去年”之当下——毫无意义。黄汉明偏爱寻找戏剧化的电影故事题材进行翻拍,并一人饰演多角,在拍摄过程中体会主角强烈的内心情感。而《去年在马里昂巴德》将电影对客观世界的再现转换为对主观世界的再现,一方面让作为表演者的黄汉明的情绪更易于直接和外化地展示;另一方面,观众在凝视另一个主观世界时,仿佛在对视某种镜像,从而观看到自己的意识处理内在时间的方式。


策展人刘秀仪 (UCCA展览介绍文)