TOBIAS WONG

When 25 Feb 2011 - 19 Jun 2011
Where SFMOMA
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States
Enquiry 415.357.4000

Tobias Wong, Ballistic Rose, 2004; ballistic nylon, metal; Courtesy CITIZEN:Citizen; © Estate of Tobias Wong; photo: courtesy CITIZEN:Citizen


February 25 – June 19, 2011

Arguably contemporary design’s most nimble provocateur, Tobias Wong staged his debut in 2001 and continued — until his untimely death at age 35 in 2010 — to produce an extraordinary body of work he designated “paraconceptual” and “postinteresting.” Drawing inspiration from various anti-art practices, Wong probed and subverted design’s complicity with the culture of late capitalism, exposing its smoke and mirrors while exercising his own sleight of hand. With a unique mix of critical intelligence, courage, sincerity, and mischief, as well as a cadre of talented collaborators, Wong steadily pursued his obsession with the interplay of anxiety and consumerism in the years following 9/11. The allure of luxury goods; the cult of the celebrity designer; the stubborn failure of objects to provide the benefits demanded of them: these are among the concerns he explored across a protean body of work that encompassed objects, furniture, lighting, jewelry, installation, and performance. This is the first in-depth presentation of Wong’s work in a museum and will be presented alongside an exhibition drawn from the permanent collection called ParaDesign.