Mo Kong: Personal Ark
October 2, 2021 – February 13, 2022
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
In their exhibition for the Year of Uncertainty, Artist-In-Residence Mo Kong takes us into the not-so-distant future, introducing New Yorkool®, a fictional Asian immigrant-owned consulting firm that offers survival solutions to Americans post-ecological collapse. Emerging among the eerily familiar circumstances of environmental disaster and unprecedented economic and trade isolation, New Yorkool® capitalizes on vulnerable populations suffering from a lack of basic resources. Here in New York, residents are experiencing the hottest winter in history, and have limited access to locally produced fresh foods. New Yorkool® fulfills demand with its new-found methods, and in the process exploits the most basic insecurities of our systems, and the ravaging inequities that emerge from their failures.
Personal Ark inhabits parts of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park-facing entryway and one of the museum’s main galleries, where a central sculpture, growing over the course of the exhibition timeframe, showcases these innovations. Its contents and the surrounding installation incorporate narrative, branding, and sculpture, with purchased, found, and cultivated organic matter. Scent is particularly highlighted, drawing from research on the history of xenophobia and culturally-linked odors. Together this multisensory experience, reveals the dystopian intersection of capital, climate change and biopiracy, global migration, and self-identification that marks our present as much as our imminent future.