LEM1, the first solo exhibition in the UK by the Singaporean conceptual artist Heman Chong. Our gallery space was transformed into a functioning second-hand Science-Fiction and Fantasy bookshop.
Visitors were able to browse and purchase the books on offer for £1 each, transforming the viewing experience into an exchange of goods and money, with the browser/buyer becoming an integral part of the artwork.
In a space adjacent to the bookshop a series of Chong’s signature paintings were also be shown, each one an imagined graphic image of a cover to a book, including some of the titles on sale in the bookshop. A special artist’s book by Fatoş Üstek, The Book of Confusion, a playful, philosophical disquisition based around the work of Chong, will be produced to coincide with the show and will be launched at the opening.
Heman Chong was born in Malaysia and grew up in Singapore. He is an artist, curator and writer whose art practice involves an investigation into philosophies, reasons and meethods of individuals and communties imagining the future. Charged with a conceptual drive, this research is then adapted into objects, images, installations, situations or texts.
Chong has developed solo exhibitions in such places as NUS Museum (Singapore) and Kunstverein Milano (Milan), as well as various galleries in Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin, Guangzhou and Singapore. He has participated in international biennales including Performa 11 (2011), Momentum 6 (2011), Manifesta 8 (2010), 2nd Singapore Biennale (2008), SCAPE Christchurch Biennale (2006), Busan Biennale (2004), 10th India Triennale (2000). Chong represented Singapore in the 50th Venice Biennale (2003).
Fatoş Üstek is an independent art critic and urator based in London. She is a guest tutor at Vision Forum, Linkopings Universitet, Sweden, member of the International Art Critics Association (AICA TR) and a regular contributor to art magazines. Üstek is the editor of the publication Unexpected Encounters: Situations of Contemporary Art and Architecture since 2000.