The Genesis of Rationality
Ung Vai Meng (Macao, China)
Raw natural wood block, electronic image, display screen, steel
256 x 140 x 60 cm

In Homer’s epic poems, the malicious Zeus swallowed his pregnant partner, the wise Metis, in order to bring forth his own wisdom. But soon after, the god of the sky felt a headache so intense that he asked Hephaestus, the god of fire, to split open his head with an axe. And from the depths of Zeus’s head, the embodiment of rationality – the goddess of wisdom, Athena – was born.

Throughout the aeons of civilization, we human beings have nurtured and accumulated experience, thoughts and creations through the trials of life that are passed down from generation to generation. In a similar vein, worldly desires, including wars, have propelled the advancement of technology and rational science.

With the rapid pace of technological progress driven by artificial intelligence, the world is undergoing a profound transformation. The innate nature of humanity, the intuitive sensations of the body and mind, and the connection with the natural world are all buried, paralyzed, and dismembered by the rationalized digital technology that has overtaken us.

It seems that humankind can only rediscover our fragmented primal perception through the cold screens in front of us.

Commissioned by Sands China Ltd. 

Ung Vai Meng

Ung Vai Meng was born in Macao where he received artistic training from Master Kam Cheong Ling. He completed his master’s degree at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, and in 2010, he obtained his PhD in Art History at the China Academy of Art.  In 1999, Ung Vai Meng was designated as the first Director of the Macao Museum of Art. In 2010, he was appointed as the President of Cultural Affair Bureau of the Macao SAR Government, and now, Ung is the Distinguished Guest Professor and Doctoral Mentor of Macau University of Science and Technology. In 2019, he formed the “YiiMa” art group with artist Chan Hin Io. In 2022, the “YiiMa” art group represented the Macao SAR at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.

location: ‧ ART Space
28/07/2023 - 29/10/2023