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Heman Chong: 'Ifs, Ands or Buts' at Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai

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Heman Chong: 'Ifs, Ands or Buts' at Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai
"The Mysterious Island" by Heman Chong

Singaporean artist Heman Chong’s 2016 is off to a fantastic start, with solo exhibitions at both South London Gallery and Rockbund Art Musuem in Shanghai.
 

Heman Chong: Ifs, Ands, or Buts

23 JANUARY - 3 MAY 2016

THE ROCKBUND ART MUSEUM 

20 Huqiu Road, Huang Pu District, Shanghai. 

"One Thousand and One Nights" by Heman Chong

‘Ifs, Ands, or Buts’ is Chong’s first solo exhibition at a museum in China and Rockbund Art Museum’s first exhibition of 2016. It features seven new commissions, produced specifically for the museum that investigates the relationship between image and text through the relationships formed within the works. ‘Ifs, Ands, or Buts’ is a continuation of his highly-conceptualized investigations into how various groups and individuals imagine the future, which he uses to produce his multi-varied works.

"Legal Bookshop (Shanghai)" by Heman Chong

One of the main themes of the exhibition, reflected in the title ‘Ifs, Ands, or Buts’, involves the concept of fiction. One Thousand and One Nights - a large-scale lightbox installation on the north façade of Rockbund – highlights the differences in the meaning of the title of the well-loved collection of stories in different languages. Legal Bookshop temporarily replaces the traditional museum gift shop with a bookshop that carries only fictional and non-fictional books on the legal system in China. The latter is produced as a collaboration with Ken Liu, a lawyer who is also an award-winning author and translator of speculative fiction.

"The Mysterious Island" by Heman Chong
Image courtesy of Aesthetica Magazine
Image courtesy of the artist
The work being installed
Image courtesy of the artist

In his mixed media installation, The Mysterious Island, Chong attempts to recreate the fictional utopia that is The Peach Blossom Spring (桃花源記) – a motif that is integral to East-Asian mythology, as well as pop culture. This installation is constructed from ready-made plastic peach blossom trees procured from the Chinese online marketplace, Taobao (淘宝), and set against a blue backdrop, much like ones used on film production sets. The Mysterious Island evokes the pursuit of an unknowable other through the idea of escape.

"Endless (Nights)" by Heman Chong

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 work continuously interrogates the many functions of the production of narratives in our everyday lives. His work has been exhibited in various solo exhibitions internationally, and at group exhibitions at the Tate Modern, The National Museum of Art, Osaka and the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona – to name a few. He has also participated in various biennales, representing Singapore in the 50th Venice Biennale (2003).

"Everything (Baike)" by Heman Chong
Image courtesy of the artist
Image courtesy of the artist

 

Click here to see more of Heman Chong's work.

For more details on the exhibition see Rockbund Art Museum's website.


 

All images courtesy of Rockbund Art Museum unless otherwise stated.

Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.



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