RHAPSODY IN YELLOW – A Lecture Performance with Two Pianos

Ming Wong (Berlin)



At a time of rising tensions between the US and China, artist Ming Wong presents a musical lecture-performance that traces the Sino-American “ping-pong” diplomacy, starting with President Nixon’s historic state visit to Communist China and his meeting with Chairman Mao fifty years ago. Evoking an international piano competition and a table tennis match, two classical pianists collaborate and improvise on a performative unification of the sonic regimes of the US and China.

In a ping-pong double concerto accompanied by archival moving images and spoken word, they explore the role of European classical music, modernism, and myth-making in the rise of these two nations in the 20th century. From table tennis and television to tanks and trade wars, “Rhapsody in Yellow” charts the changing balance of power between the US and China, in a duet of discord and harmony, chaos and serendipity, humor and pathos.


The description of the performance was written by the curators of steirischer herbst ’22. We would like to thank for the kind and uncomplicated provision of these materials.

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Artist Ming Wong examines the construction, reproduction, and circulation of identity on the basis of film and popular culture. He represented Singapore with his solo show LIFE OF IMITATION during the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. His works have been shown worldwide in solo exhibitions, at venues such as the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art Beijing, at Shiseido Gallery Tokyo, at the REDCAT Los Angeles as well as at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein.

Conductor, composer, and producer Henry Cheng received his musical education at the Eastman School of Music, Georgia State University, and the Berlin University of the Arts, as well as elsewhere. He is equally well-versed in conducting symphonic as well as contemporary opera and ballet repertoire, and he is a regular guest conductor throughout Asia, Europa, and America. He has been the main conductor and artistic director for the Klangkraft Orchester Duisburg since 2017.

Pianist Mark Taratushkin plays concerts both as a soloist and as a chamber musician in Russia and Europe. He received his musical education at the Moscow Conservatory, at the HMTM Hanover, and at the Berlin University of the Arts, where he continues his studies even now. At the centre of his works lie the performances of German Romantic pieces and 20th century music.

Pianist Ben Kim studied at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University Baltimore as well as at the Berlin University of the Arts. He debuted at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall with the Olympus Chamber Players in 2009. He most recently undertook a Japanese tour together with the Brünn Philharmonie.

Composer Christopher Schlechte-Bond creates music for feature films and documentaries and for advertising campaigns shown at festivals around the world. His works have been performed by the Klangkraft Orchestra, the Street Orchestra Live (SOL) and the Odin Quartet, and others.

Liam Morgan is an artist and filmmaker. He works interdisciplinary in the fields of performing and visual arts as well as in film. He is among the co-founders of Thailand’s first arts biannual, the Bangkok Biennial. His large-format kinetic light sculptures were featured at documenta 15.


Concept, Text, Video Ming Wong Musical Direction Henry Hao-An Cheng Performance Ben Kim | Mark Taratushkin Composition Ming Wong | Henry Hao-An Cheng Arrangement Christopher Schlechte-Bond Camera & Lighting Liam Morgan Camera Assistance Elias Fritz Technical Direction Torsten Podraza Production Management Mariko Mikami


Please note: There may be very fast, flickering image changes in some parts of the video.


Wheelchair accessible

Production & Realization

Commissioned by steirischer herbst ’22 | Singapore Art Museum Production steirischer herbst ’22.

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation | Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media


Kulturstiftung des Bundes BKM