Sculpting ambient field recordings into dissonant pastiches informed by the synthetic framework of club influences, Flora Yin-Wong’s body of work cycles through the emotional spectrum. Informed by life experiences spanning through East Asia and beyond, her aural collages vibrate with personal, social and spiritual history—sampling temple chimes, the Chinese Yangqin stringed instrument, Cantonese pop music and pulling from her family’s history of involvement with opera. Instinctually powerful, her work touches on existential themes of death, transmission and rebirth in a way that can crawl under a listener’s skin.
Raised playing violin and learning guitar in her early teens, Yin-Wong was eventually drawn to analogue house and techno music, many of these influences are still archived on the late blog Nobody Cares about Kitsune. While developing a deep structural understanding of beat-driven electronic music, she began making music from stringed instruments she learned in her youth—from violin and Turkish kemence to pieces acquired from her opera singer mother. While she’s had long involvement with DJing as well as working as a music programmer in Hong Kong in the early 2010’s, it wasn’t until Yin-Wong accidentally marked a track as public on Soundcloud that New York’s PTP label scouted her for a release, leading to the City God cassette, named after a Daoist deity that provides divine protection to a city's residents. Yin-Wong’s profile grew with remixes of contemporary boundary-pushing artists such as Giant Swan’s Mun Sing and Halcyon Veil's Celyn June, and in 2017 she joined iconic experimental label PAN’s roster for their Mono No Aware compilation, using her own vocals on “Lugere,” an arrestingly plucked dirge that aches with distraught loss. Her forthcoming full length is slated for PAN later this year, to be preceded by heavier club investigations in collaboration with the artist STILL—with both continuing her sonic ritualizations, but to different ends.
This MUTEK finds Yin-Wong pulling from personal experiences in East Asia for a collaboration with Tokyo visual artist Go Watanabe called Áskesis, exploring the cultural signifiers of fire rituals and their relation to the human body. Drawing inspiration from artists like Toshikatsu Endo, and Su Yu Hsien, whose works feature fire as the catalyst for both physical and existential transformation, transmuting sonic frequencies into representations of death, fear, ecstasy and rebirth.