singapore: of indeterminate time or occurrence

© fost gallery / installation view

heman chong is an artist based in singapore. trained as a graphic designer at temasek polytechnic and london's royal college of art, neither art nor writing fiction has been a part of chong's education but both practices have found central roles in his life. the artist currently has a solo exhibition at fost gallery in singapore, entitled of indeterminate time or occurrence. the show presents four of chong's works which highlight his artistic practice and also provide viewers a way of understanding how the artist views relationships between image and text.

since 2009 chong's signature work has revolved around an ongoing series of paintings of imaginary book covers, and he has produced no less than 335 paintings. each painting is of the same size and appropriates multiple genres and styles, and presented at the show are 66 new paintings. also new is never/again [2013], a flickering neon sign which uses two diagrammatically opposing terms to feed off each other to suggest the ambivalence of the state of artistic production where everything attempts to be new, but the fact remains that nothing can come from nothing.

this idea of repetition is explored in another new work called after bolaño (after duchamp) [2013], which tells the story of how chong encountered unhappy readymade [1919], a piece from marcel duchamp through the novel 2666 by chilean novelist roberto bolaño. with this work, chong spotlights his interest in how literature can produce a form of art history that cannot be written by art historians, and he'll actually reproduce this readymade from duchamp/bolaño at the gallery. as an epilogue chong revisits a work he made in 2008, called the forer effect. the text is appropriated from an experiment involving a personality test by american psychologist bertram forer in 1948 [on through may 4]. location: gillman barracks, 1 lock road, unit #01-02 [bukit merah].

© fost gallery / heman chong - one day in the life of ivan denisovich [2013] and never/again [2013]