Workshop with P.S. 184M Shuang Wen School

“When prophecy becomes reality, art can be one of the many ways to explore possible solutions. Some of you may think that contemporary art is unreachable, but it comes from the challenges we encounter every day. It is created from our everyday surroundings, even groceries.”

– Mo Kong

Following a series of prompts created by New York-based artist Mo Kong, students from Mona Wang’s class at P.S. 184M Shuang Wen School collected household items that held particular personal and familial meaning. Pairing those mementos with food items, students created sculptural installations inside of their family’s refrigerators. Through this exercise, Kong’s workshop encouraged students to dig more deeply into the connections between their family’s roots and the outside world. Each photograph was printed as a refrigerator magnet and distributed to students who received their own work and that of another student in the class.

Mo Kong is a multidisciplinary artist, researcher. They are currently residing in Queens, NY. They received a MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Their work, which is deeply impacted by the social events coded by the “educational information system,” poses questions about the current political environment. Their research-based process usually takes the form of large-scale installations involving science research and multiple journalistic perspectives through which they challenge key issues of the day using complex narratives that synthesize the past with the present.

They have been the subject of solo exhibitions at CUE Art Foundation (New York), Artericambi Gallery (Verona), Gertrude Gallery (Stockbridgeand), and Chashama (New York). Their work has been included in Queens Museum, RISD Museum, SFMOMA, Minnesota Street Project, Spring/Break, ARTISSIMA, Make Room Gallery and Rubber Factory Gallery. They have also received fellowships/residencies from Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Triangle art association, Mass MOCA Studio, Vermont Studio Center, Gibney Performance Center, and Lighthouse Works.

Presented as a part of AAI x District 1, a digital workshop series offered by Artists Alliance Inc (AAI) in collaboration with District 1’s Lower East Side public schools. Designed and led by guest artists, students worked over Zoom on pre-designed projects that both paralleled the school’s current curriculum and extend from the individual artist’s existing practice. The workshops urge students to experience art-making through unexpected visual relationships, using professional artists’ practices as a means to create engaging and interactive learning activities.

Commissioned by Artists Alliance Inc. Presented in partnership with the District 1 City Seekers program. Project support provided by Delancey Street Associates/Essex Crossing and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.