Installation view of Scotty So’s <em>Performing the 1st movement of Elgar’s Cello Concerto </em>2021 on display as part of the <em>Melbourne Now</em> exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne from 24 March – 20 August 2023.   Image: Sean Fennessy

Scotty So

Scotty So
(b. 1995, Hong Kong. Lives and works in Melbourne)

Scotty So is an artist working across a range of media including photography, painting, sculpture, site-responsive installation, videos and drag performance. Driven by the thrill of camp, he explores the often-contradictory relationship between humour and sincerity within lived experience.

Performing the 1st movement of Elgar’s Cello Concerto, 2021, is a dual-channel video work that sees the artist lip-syncing to the first movement of Edward Elgar’s ‘Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85’. In an earlier version of the work, So lip-synced to a 1965 recording of the work by British cellist Jacqueline du Pré, considered by many to be one of the greatest cellists of her era. In this updated version of the work, So collaborated with local cellist Stephanie Arnold to replicate du Pré’s original recording. Referencing the stylised trope of the ‘male musical genius’ and the iconic imagery of Man Ray’s Le Violon d’Ingres, 1924, the result is an exploration of gender performativity through the lens of a cello concerto drag performance.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, So graduated Bachelor of Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts with First Class Honours in 2019. His work has been shown in Hong Kong, China and Australia, including solo exhibitions at MARS Gallery, West Space, Trocadero Art Space and George Paton Gallery in Melbourne. His work was included in the NGV Triennial 2020. So is represented by MARS Gallery in Melbourne and is a current Gertrude Studio Artist (2022–24).