GROUND LEVEL, MURDOCH COURT ADJOINING GALLERY 8
HONG KONG, BORN 1995
LIVES AND WORKS IN MELBOURNE
China Masks 2020 presents a set of eight porcelain facemasks and six photographic prints that reflect Scotty So’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic in Melbourne and the 2003 SARs crisis in Hong Kong. To So, wearing masks is just a normal measure to prevent spreading sickness to others but he now notes there is ‘a huge debate and fear in mask wearing during the current COVID–19 pandemic’. The artist is drawing attention to the fact that masks have become a symbol of fear and led to racial assaults on the Asian community, which adopted mask wearing at the beginning of the pandemic. Through this project, So plays with the similarity in the colours of surgical and N95 masks via jade green celadon hues and other Chinese porcelain traditions. Making porcelain ‘china’ masks, the artist finds beauty and irony in the fragile material when it’s used as safety gear. His accompanying photographic prints are part of an ongoing project to incorporate cloth face masks into ‘fake’ old photos and then upload them on different Wikipedia pages.
Scotty So works across media, using painting, photography, site-responsive installation, video and drag performance to explore the often-contradictory relationship between humour and sincerity within our lives. Born and raised in Hong Kong, So graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with First Class Honours at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia, 2019. So’s work has been displayed in two solo and several group shows, including exhibitions in Hong Kong, Greater China and Australia.