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Mak2 (Mak Ying Tung 2): House of Fortune

16 October 2021 - 4 December 2021



de Sarthe is pleased to present its third solo exhibition for Hong Kong-based conceptual artist Mak2 (Mak Ying Tung 2), titled House of Fortune. Featuring a new body of installations and videos as well as newly developed works from her iconic series Home Sweet Home (2019-), the exhibition contemplates the correlation between value and belief under the context of Chinese Fengshui and big data in the prevailing digital era. Using herself as the subject, Mak2 aims to dis­­sect the criteria of what constitutes and contributes to value while performing individual experiments on the exhibited works. House of Fortune opens on 16 October and runs through 4 December.

Originally named Mak Ying Tung, the artist added the ‘2’ to her name in 2018 after visiting a Fengshui master in the hopes of gaining fame and fortune by perfecting the number of strokes in her Chinese name. The endorsement of her new identity marked the beginning of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Attesting to this phenomenon, the artist sought to maximize the success of her exhibition House of Fortune by seeking affirmation from not only theological but scientific authorities. To streamline the Fengshui master’s prediction made three years ago, Mak Ying Tung 2 shortens her name to Mak2 in 2021.

Mak2’s multimedia installation Feeding the Multitude comprises a heap of 3D-printed crystals and two projected videos of running binary code. Borrowing the mythological belief that Chinese celestials bring good fortune, the artist invites a Fengshui master to perform a consecration ritual (Kaiguang) on a digital file that contains the 3D model of a crystal. With the file, the artist prints out a mound of minuscule sculptures, all of which theoretically carrying the master’s blessing. Played on a loop, innumerable 1s and 0s run from the ceiling down, across the wall, and onto the pile of printed sculptures. The projections each consist of a set of binary code; one generated from the crystals’ 3D model file, and the other from the audio recording of the Kaiguang ritual. While the initial ceremony was performed only on the digital file, the notion that its effect will transfer onto any subsequent products suggests that value will exist as long as it is believed as such. By translating the Fengshui master’s blessing into an array of different physical forms and media, the installation alludes to the replicability of faith.

A continuation of her ongoing series, Home Sweet Home: Feng Shui Painting is a sub-series of triptychs on canvas, composed using the popular American life simulation game “The Sims”, with each panel of an artwork painted by a different painter found on the Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao. Using elements of the videogame, Mak2 stages bizarre but idyllic environments that reflect her home city, Hong Kong, projecting into it the unreachable fantasies of real life. She then asks a Fengshui master for spiritual consultation regarding the colors, décor, and positioning of each digital composition. Having optimized the Fengshui, the virtual homescapes are then screen captured, divided into thirds, and sent to separate painters. As the imagery is materialized via paint and brush through the hands of three strangers, the final triptych becomes unpredictable owing to the painters’ inconsistent skill levels, techniques, and use of materials.

The added element of Fengshui in this new sub-series explores the idealization of home through the lens of superstition. By allowing a Fengshui master to intervene in a place as intimate as home, the artist implies the notion of belief over one’s liking. While the original series forms a commentary on the ineluctable disparity between fantasy and reality, the use of superstition in the new paintings speaks to the influence of faith over perception. Utilizing Fengshui properties applicable to both the virtual environments and their resulting triptychs, the artworks are believed to bring good fortune to the exhibition.

Staged amid the paintings, in the center of the gallery, are two isolated islands fully furnished with beds, nightstands, lamps, rugs, and faux wood flooring, collectively construct two cinematic installations in manifestations of ideal bedrooms as imagined by the artist. In the works, Mak2 compares predictive analysis to fortune-telling. Seemly different, the authorities of science and theology respectively represent in the artworks both attempt to foresee the future by building upon existing information.


Mak2 (Mak Ying Tung 2, b. 1989, Hong Kong) is a conceptual artist. Her work contemplates 21st century issues through the study of philosophy, art history, culture, shifting socio-political environments, the internet, and new technology. The aesthetic experience she crafts is bound by the dualism of humor and intense inquisitiveness. She creates installations, paintings, drawings, video work, YouTube videos, stand-up comedy routines, and Instagram filters.

Mak2's artwork has been exhibited internationally in: How Do We Begin?, X Museum, Beijing, China (2020), Home Sweet Home, de Sarthe, Hong Kong, China (2019); We Didn't Mean To Break It (But It's Ok, We Can Fix It), Pedro Cera, Lisbon, Portugal (2019); Whatever Works, Whatever It Takes, Goethe-Institut China, Beijing (2019); The Anything Machine, de Sarthe, Beijing, China (2018); Invisible Cities, Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas, USA (2017-18); com/.cn - Co-presented by KAF and MoMA PS1, K11 Art Foundation, Shanghai, China (2017-18); Reversal Ritual, de Sarthe, Hong Kong, China (2017); COMEINSIDE: EAT ME, PingPong 129, Hong Kong, China (2017); COMEINSIDE: BABY SHOWER, Gallery Exit, Hong Kong, China (2017); Artists' Film International, Whitechapel Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2016); The Second "CAFAM-Future" Exhibition, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China (2015); Artistic or Autistic - The Seventh Annual Exhibition, Inside Out Art Museum, Beijing, China (2014); Almost Empty, Gallery Exit, Hong Kong, China (2014); and SOFT OFF: But I love it when your mouth is a little shut, ltd Los Angeles, Los Angeles, USA (2013).


16 October 2021
4 December 2021
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