13 March 2014
While Heman Chong is known primarily as a conceptual artist, writing in general continues to inform his practice as an artist, curator and writer. Beginning with his own work Calendars (2020-2096) – a work which sees Heman investigate the architecture of a future in Singapore through a series of imagined calendar pages, Heman will also draw references from others such as Tehching Hsieh, John Baldessari and Kenneth Goldsmith in order to discuss the relationship between texts and images. Writing, for Heman, thus becomes a form of image-making, just as images might be said to possess a certain textuality as well. As graphic marks, both texts and images illustrate the very repeatability and reproducibility of things, and thus the potential for things to become other than themselves. It is perhaps here that we return to the very question of the future in Heman’s practice at large.
Heman Chong is an artist, curator and writer. He received his MA 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 generate a multiplicity of objects, images, installations, situations and texts.
About History and Its Currency Talk Series
Every glimpse of history is a merely freeze-frame in transit. History, in other words, is constantly on the move, always caught in a state of perpetual becoming. What would it mean for us to write history then? The flow of ink on paper, the flickering of words on screen; both suggest the myriad ways in which history moves us. But perhaps the inverse is just as valid: it is us who continue to animate, perform and simulate history as such. Presented as part of the Writing Lab 2014 programme, the talk series History and its Currency: Archives, Anecdotes, Contemporary Practice will gather together practitioners such as Paul Rae, Tan Pin Pin, Heman Chong, Lilian Chee and Looi Wang Ping, whose projects often entail a thinking of history as contested, imagined, and always open to a future still to come.
Writing Lab 2014 is a seven-week script-writing mentorship programme, running from 13 Feb-27 Mar 2014 facilitated by Huzir Sulaiman of Checkpoint Theatre, and organised by NUS Museum for the NUS Arts Festival 2014. Under Huzir’s guidance, students will write short plays that draw from, refer to, or intersect with the collections of NUS Museum. The programme will consist of one mentoring session and one public talk per week, culminating in a public script reading session on 27 March 2014 during the NUS Arts Festival 2014.