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Hong-Kai Wang, Music While You Work, 2010. Work in progress (ArcelorMittal, 16.06.2010). © Casino Luxembourg.

Hong-Kai Wang, Music While You Work, 2010. Installation sonore. © Jessica Theis - Blue Box Design.

Hong-Kai Wang, Music while you work, 2012. Work in progress (Panelux, 15.06.2010). © Yann Tonnar.

25.5 — 5.9.2010 Artist residency

Music While You Work

artist(s): Hong-Kai Wang

Casino Luxembourg invited Taiwanese artist Hong-Kai Wang for its first artist's residence titled project room @ aquarium. During her residence, Hong-Kai Wang worked in collaboration with eight industrial firms in Luxembourg in order to analyse the daily sound environment of the workers. The recordings made on site constitute the raw material of her sound installation Music While You Work which were presented in the „Aquarium" of the Casino Luxembourg.

ArcelorMittal, Bruno, Chaux de Contern, Delphi, Husky Injection Molding Systems, Luxlait, Panelux and Pfeifer Sogéquip opened their doors to Hong-Kai Wang so that she could capture sounds. Beyond the recording of noise generated by the machines and the activity of the workers, the artist carried out an in-depth reflection on the social and historical environ­ments detected through contact with the workers' world in Luxembourg.

Born in 1971 in Taiwan, Hong-Kai Wang studied political science at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, followed by a Master's degree in Arts and Media Studies in New York where she currently lives and works. Hong-Kai Wang's work is situated at the crossroads of political performance and social analysis. Her installations, which are veritable sound landscapes, are made up of noises and acoustic and vocal atmospheres. Convinced by Hong-Kai Wang's interest in the social context in Luxembourg, by her desire to inscribe her artistic project here and by her vision of concrete and collaborative work „on site", the members of the jury - made up of artists and professionals from the contemporary art world - selected her for the first Spring residence at the Casino Luxembourg.

During her residence, Hong-Kai Wang pursued her artistic approach of sound design by adapting it to the context of the Luxembourg workers' universe. Recorded and then edited, all the sounds, noises and voices that constitute Music While You Work are inscribed in a complex space-time dimension articulated on several levels. More than a nostalgic and introspective quest (members of her family were workers in a sugar plant in her home town), Hong-Kai Wang is interested in Luxembourg's industrial past and its importance in post-industrial society. Hong-Kai Wang: „I'm perfectly aware of my position as a foreigner and my very temporary presence in this country. I perceive my role as that of a social agent who, through her external vision, hopes to make herself useful through a project which treats the social memory of the other."

The ambient multilingualism apparent in the industries led Hong-Kai Wang to use it as a contextualisation tool to inform the sound landscape of Music While You Work, thus introducing a form of poetry into the work. The title, borrowed from a 1940s BBC radio programme (which, under the auspices of the government, was aimed at increasing workers' productivity by making them listen to joyful popular music), also refers to the human dimension in her work. Presented in the form of a sound installation in the „Aquarium" area - the former „Casino Bourgeois"... - it humourously refers to what „is missing" in the original BBC radio programme: the voice of the workers.

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partners

Music While You Work is realised in collaboration with: ArcelorMittal, Bruno, Chaux de Contern, Delphi, Husky Injection Molding Systems, Luxlait, Panelux and Pfeifer Sogéquip.

images

Hong-Kai Wang, Music While You Work, 2010. Work in progress (ArcelorMittal, 16.06.2010). © Casino Luxembourg.

Hong-Kai Wang, Music While You Work, 2010. Installation sonore. © Jessica Theis - Blue Box Design.

Hong-Kai Wang, Music while you work, 2012. Work in progress (Panelux, 15.06.2010). © Yann Tonnar.