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Acting Out
© Wing Shya

WING Shya »

Acting Out

Exhibition: 8 Nov 2017 – 10 Jan 2018

Shanghai Centre of Photography (SCoP)

No. 2555-1 Longteng Ave
Tue-Sun 10-17:30

Shanghai Centre of Photography (SCôP)

No. 2555-1 Longteng Ave

+86 21 -6428 9516


Tue-Sun 10:30-17:30

Acting Out: Wing Shya

Nov 8, 2017 - Jan 10, 2018

Wing Shya is known to many as the photographer for Hong Kong’s visionary art-house film-maker Wong Kar-Wai. Wing, as he prefers to be called, worked on every one of Wong’s films, on and off set, since Happy Together, filmed in Argentina in 1996 through to 2006. In aesthetic style and attitude towards life, photographer and director share much in common; a total commitment to their work and to a degree that pushes all limits, and to all manner of experimentation necessary to achieve a desired look. They own a love of unconventional effects, and no fear of failure because neither recognises success or failure in conventional terms.

The archive of images that Wing has accumulated through a 25-year career contains many surprises in the subjects, scenes, sets and scenarios he has captured. Wing’s style is a “blurring of genres” and all the more moving for that. Yet there are consistencies, too, which surprisingly crop up in very different guises, found in the mood and atmosphere that pervades, suffuses, saturates the majority of photographs. There is too, the element of love. These two sensations are interconnected, though perhaps that of love is most constant, like a recurring melody in a musical score. Wing presents love as a form of control, of self-induced torture, of passion yes, but one that most often takes the form of an impassioned pain. The pervasive longing for love is felt even for the coolest and most beautiful of people, whom viewers tend to imagine could never be without love.

The photos both relate to and speak of the films but when viewed independently narrate their own distinctive stories. This is the power of photography. It can’t lie, no matter how the photographer tries to take charge. As Wing says “I want to intervene, to have an effect. I want to get a reaction that is real.” The irony is that he does exactly that, even if the real he sees in his moment behind the lens is experienced differently in the eye of the beholder.

Wing Shya’s first solo exhibition “Distraction/Attraction” took place at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo in 2006. The was followed by "This is Real", a second solo show at Ion Art, Singapore in 2011. The most recent solo presentation will be “Acting Out” at the Shanghai Center of Photography (SCoP) in the winter of 2017. It will also represent a retrospective overview of his 25-year-career.