Monday, 24 June 2019

Introducing Bonnie Wong Po Yi

Over 100 artists are taking part in The Tate Staff Biennale which will take place on the last week of August on Level 5 of Tate Modern. Over the next few weeks The Rebel Magazine will be chatting to some of the Tate staff who are showing their artwork. Today it's the turn of Bonnie Wong Po Yi
Where did you grow up and what kind of education did you receive? "I was born and raised in Hong Kong. I have been in London for three years. I did illustration and photography for my undergrad at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I worked freelance for a while as an illustrator. Later, I moved on to doing a fine arts and printmaking master degree at The Royal College of Art."
How long have you been working at the Tate and what's the best show you've seen there? "I have been working at Tate for three months. The best show I have seen at Tate is the Don Mccullin exhibition because I love photography, photojournalism and works that are related to politics. I also really like Tate Liverpool's permanent collection."
What can you tell me about the work you're exhibiting in the Tate modern show? "Map 1 is a screen-printed project with 10 layers printed on the same surface created over a period of a year. It is a visual diary that explores the idea of change and movement that happened geographically and occurred over time. Maps have always been a tool for me to understand my heritage. The fundamental element of the work is a vintage map from circa 1900s. The practice of using colours to show ownership in map-making was very common back then. Born in colonial Hong Kong and growing up in post-colonial Hong Kong, I have always been interested in how different maps show my hometown differently - a city could be purposefully indicated in various ways depending on who created the map and when it was made. When creating this piece, I first drew and wrote responding to the ‘factual’ information on the map. Later, I went back to add more notations on top of the previous layer every few weeks. I was having conversations with myself by intervening my old writings. It was when I had just moved to London, undergoing a period of instability, trying to get used to this new city and phase of life. My notes also reflect how my life and mental state have changed over time."
How can people find out about your work - do you have a website or do Instagram? Instagram: bonnieeewpy / my website is: here
What's the best thing about working at the Tate? "The best thing about working at the Tate is that many of my peers are also artists themselves. I get to have conversations about what we love with my colleagues every single day."
The Tate Staff Biennale will take place on Level 6 of the Blavatnik Building of Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG

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