Heman Chong (b. 1977, Malaysia) is a multi-hyphenate artist, curator, and writer. His interest in languages centred his practice on fiction and spaces that overlap with reality; investigating frameworks for collective imaginings of the future. The result is an intersection of works between mediums of image, performance, situations and writing.
As one of the 5 participating artists in the BMW Young Asian Artists Series, Chong challenged the STPI team with a series of complex and dynamic silkscreen prints. Heavily invested in conceptualism, Chong transposed a series of film noir titles and geometric images onto paper, of which each title deals with the central concept of Totalitarianism. The strong visuals prompt viewers to connect memorable scenes by the suggestive power of the words.
Chong is currently working on a novel entitled ‘The Book of Drafts’ which will be published in 2019 by Polyparenthesis. Between 2012 to 2014, he produced Moderation(s) with Defne Ayas, Mimi Brown, Samuel Saelmakers, and Amira Gad – a sprawling, nomadic programme that moved between and around Witte de With Contemporary Art and Spring Workshop, involving more than fifty artists and engendered a conference, three exhibitions, three residencies, and a book of short stories.
His recent exhibitions include Legal Books (Shanghai), Swiss Institute, New York (2018); Abstracts from The Straits Times, Rossi & Rossi, Hong Kong (2018); First Sight, Museum MACAN, Jakarta (2017); Ifs, Ands, or Buts, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2016); Expo Zero, Tate Modern, London (2015); Take Me (I’m Yours), Monnaie de Paris, France (2015); Never, A Dull Moment, Art Sonje Center, Seoul (2015); BORG 2014, Borgerhout, Antwerp (2014); Believers, Varbergs Konsthall, Sweden (2013); Homo Ludens – Act III, Motive Gallery, Amsterdam (2012); Agency of Unrealized Projects (AUP), Kopfbau (e-flux), Basel (2011); and I’m on your side, Kunstverein, Milan (2010).
He has participated in numerous international biennales including the Sydney Biennale (2017), Yichuan Biennale (2017), Gwangju Biennale (2014), Asia Pacific Triennale (2012), Venice Biennale (2011), Performa 11 (2011), Manifesta 8 (2010), Singapore Biennale (2008), SCAPE Christchurch Biennale (2006), and Busan Biennale (2004). Chong represented Singapore in the 50th Venice Biennale (2003).
Chong’s work is included in the permanent collections of Art Sonje Center, FarEastFarWest Collection, Kadist Art Foundation, M+ Museum, NUS Museum, Rockbund Art Museum, Singapore Art Museum, and numerous prominent private collections.