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Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 61cm (H) x 46cm (W) x 3.8cm (D) / 24" (H) x 18.1" (W) x 1.5" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
Heman Chong paints to survive. He has painted since 2009, when he was commissioned to be part of a special exhibition during the Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair. His impulse to paint was inspired by a joke by the art critic, Jan Verwoert: “Why are conceptual artists painting again? Because they think it's a good idea.”
In the process of responding to this joke, Chong has undertaken an extended interrogation of painting. His first paintings were Cover (Versions) (2009 - ), book covers for books he had not yet read but intended to read.
Over time, the paintings have become more painterly, incorporating gestures of exaggerated brush strokes and abstracted masses of colour to tears on
the canvas surface. Things That Remain Unwritten (2013 - ), a later series of paintings that are wholly abstract, is evidence of this evolution.
Across the series and the years of painting, he has worked with the same sized canvas and with the same brand of acrylic paint. Both sets of materials are purchased off the shelf from Art Friend, an art supply store located at Bras Basah Complex. Each painting is defined by these materials and everyday parameters of Chong’s life.
Based in: Singapore
Heman Chong is an artist, curator and writer. He received his M.A in Communication Art & Design from The Royal College of Art, London in 2002. His conceptually-charged investigations into how individuals and communities imagine the future generates a multiplicity of objects, images, installations, situations and texts.
In 2006, he produced a writing workshop with Leif Magne Tangen at Project Arts Center in Dublin where they co-authored "PHILIP", a science fiction novel, with Mark Aerial Waller, Cosmin Costinas, Rosemary Heather, Francis McKee, David Reinfurt and Steve Rushton.
The artist has developed solo exhibitions at FOST (Singapore), Michael Janssen (Singapore), The Reading Room (Bangkok), Future Perfect (Singapore), Wilkinson (London), Rossi & Rossi (London/Hong Kong), SOTA Gallery (Singapore), NUS Museum (Singapore), Kunstverein Milano (Milan), Motive Gallery (Amsterdam), Hermes Third Floor (Singapore), Vitamin Creative Space (Guangzhou), Art In General (New York), Project Arts Centre (Dublin), Ellen de Bruijne Projects (Amsterdam), The Substation (Singapore), Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), Sparwasser HQ (Berlin).
His work has also been shown extensively in group exhibitions including De Appel Arts Centre, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Sharjah Art Foundation, Taipei Contemporary Art Center, San Francisco Asian Art Museum, Kumho Museum of Art, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Kroeller-Muller Museum, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Nam June Paik Art Center, Gertrude Contemporary, Arnolfini, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Hamburger Bahnhof, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Kadist Art Foundation, Daejeon Museum of Art.
He has participated in numerous international biennales including 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014), Asia Pacific Triennale 7 (2012), Performa 11 (2011), Momentum 6 (2011), Manifesta 8 (2010), 2nd Singapore Biennale (2008), SCAPE Christchurch Biennale (2006), Busan Biennale (2004), 10th India Triennale( 2000) and represented Singapore in the 50th Venice Biennale (2003).
His work has been featured prominently in A Prior, ArtAsiaPacific, Artforum International, ArtInfo, Art-iT, Art Lies, Frieze, LEAP, SITE and Visionaire.
Heman Chong is represented by Rossi & Rossi (London/HK), Vitamin Creative Space (Beijing/Guangzhou) and Wilkinson Gallery (London)
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