Karen Asher, Class, 2019, video still

Respondent Series | A Performance by Ming Hon

Thursday, May 23, 2019 – 7pm
Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art | 1, 460 Portage Ave | Winnipeg MB | Canada

As part of our Respondent Series, Plug In ICA presented Work by Ming Hon, a collaborative performance that utilized Karen Asher’s solo exhibition Class which was on view. Work was a study on the physicality of the body in labour and its usage in production. Hon questioned the worth of a body and its efforts through a performance that worked towards varying and contradicting spectrums of exertion, finesse, sensuality, vulgarity, repetition, and spectacle.

Ming Hon is a dancer, choreographer, and performance artist, using video and installation based in Winnipeg. Her practice looks into themes of work, labour, the ethics of luxury, capitalism, and the economy and politics of the female body. Hon’s works have shown locally and internationally, including at the award-winning Canada Hub (Scotland), Taipei AV (Taiwan), National Art Centre’s Prairie Scene Events / SAW Gallery (Ottawa), SummerWorks Festival (Toronto), Fluid Movement Festival (Calgary), Surrey Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Mississauga, Latitude 53 (Edmonton), Plug In ICA (Winnipeg) and many more. She has been featured in Canadian Art, Border Crossings, CBC, Vice, The Guardian, and The BBC, among others. She has collaborated as a performer on projects with artists such as Karen Asher, Rebecca Belmore, Sarah Anne Johnson, Noam Gonnick, Guy Maddin, and Rober Racine.

Associative Programming: 

Artist Talk by Karen Asher: Friday, June 14, 2019, 7pm followed by a dance and karaoke party.

The exhibition Class was an installation of video, photographs and props which are an amalgamation of Asher’s past – almost a coming of age story for which Asher recreates the night clubs and bars she frequented and worked at in her late teens throughout her twenties. These places, where her identity was made and she found a place of expression, were permissive. This merged recreation of places is part of a dreamscape of Pleather seats, plastic glossy linoleum, shiny satin curtains, a flashing neon sign. They are sensual, bargain bin, gaudy, gauche – the material of a class identity that is blinded by the glitter, but also aware of its own tactlessness. Asher sits amongst the kitsch, but also behind it as a controlled observer. Like her subjects who perform their desires for the camera, Asher unearths a powerful authority of who she is.

Plug In ICA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We extend gratitude to our Director’s Circle, valued members and dedicated volunteers.

All programming is FREE and open to the public. Everyone welcome!

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art recognizes we are on Treaty One Territory, the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe, Métis, Cree, Dakota, Dene, and Oji-Cree Nations.

Production of Class was made possible through the funding support of Winnipeg Arts Council and the Manitoba Arts Council.

The artist would like to thank with love the performers without whom this work would not be possible, including: Aremelle Alhéritière, Ashley Au, Irene Bindi, Hilary Crist, Elise Dawson, Bronwyn Guard, Rebel Harris Hon, Maegan Hill-Carroll, Ming Hon, Caitlin Hutchison, julian k, Georgia Morrison, Hayley Mummery,Lóa, Penny and Freya Olafson, Stephanie Poruchnyk-Butler, Malaikah Rang’inya, Andrea Roberts, Beth Schellenberg, Natalie Sharma, Tanja Woloshen. Filmed on location at Video Pool Media Arts Centre with assistance from jaymez and Ryan Simmons. Thank you to Kevin Doole who spent countless hours editing. Thank you to EQ3 and Black Hole Theatre for their assistance with staging. Plug In ICA extends gratitude to our artists, generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers. With special thanks to our Director’s Circle.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts. Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all and enables us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor.

For more information on this and our other education programs, please contact: or call 1.204.942.1043

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