Redwhiteandblue is an ongoing art, design, and social commentary project by Wong. This series, which takes the form of posters, installations, objects, and books, plays off of the ubiquitous red, white, and blue tricolor woven bags found in Hong Kong—the city's de facto flag. It conveys the positive spirit of Hong Kong using the colors as a jumping off point. The project won critical acclaim, and is part of the permanent collections at Hong Kong and Victoria & Albert museums.
The synthetic tricolor fabric was Japanese in origin, and produced in Taiwan for use as shopping bags. It has been in use since Hong Kong's British-ruled colonial days. Initially, this red, white, and blue cloth was used to make a popular bag for carrying foodstuffs and necessities from Hong Kong to mainland China through Shenzhen, the first city you reach after crossing the British/Chinese border. The fabric is still used as carrying bags, store canopies, coverings in construction sites, and other uses.
In high art and daily life, the fabric has become a kind of flag, symbolically acknowledging and reminding people of their Chinese heritage.
Wong transforms this ordinary stuff into something extraordinary to become an icon of Hong Kong and its people. He has created Redwhiteandblue for over a decade. Wong's intention is to tap into aesthetic preferences of Hong Kong and design things that spark conversation and open a dialogue about the city and its culture.
The LEE Ka-sing Gallery in Toronto, Canada, wrote about the series: "Wong approaches this tangible material with great sensitivity, seeing beauty in it, finding meaning in the inexhaustible applications Redwhiteandblue offers in everyday life. The process of continual discovery of this 'urban icon' in different Asian cities makes him post the questions: When and where? An identity which becomes more and more difficult to define, and increasingly blurry in the shifting landscape of globalism."
The Cave Living of Exception / Act-itude
With an aim toward promoting Asian culture and beauty, the Exception / Act-itude retail environment, designed by Wong, features recycled or found objects to create a profound sense of passing time and the enlightened reuse of beautiful objects. It is a truly unique shopping experience. Located in Beijing, China, the store for this upscale retailer of ecofriendly clothing and home accessories for a sustainable lifestyle is divided into a variety of spaces. The shop features an art gallery, coffee corner, book corner, main fashion area, and fitting rooms. Rows of spotlights on beams are spread over the canvas ceiling, with smaller ceiling lights used to line the hay cave and floor spotlights that illuminate clothing displays and design features.
The Pawn restaurant and bar occupies one of the few old buildings left in the densely populated Wan Chai district of Hong Kong. Located on Johnston Road in a former site of the "Wedding Card Street," which is a casualty of recent urban renewal in the area. Whole blocks of buildings in this area have been razed and replaced. However, both Wong, who branded the Pawn and designed the interiors, and his client have an avid interest in Hong Kong history and its preservation. The restaurant building once housed a pawn shop, and the design nods to this aesthetic while being a very modern eating and drinking establishment. The food and atmosphere is that of a uniquely Hong Kong gourmet pub.