STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery
The English Patient / Michael Ondaatje
Heman Chong paints to survive. He has painted since 2009, when he was commissioned to be part of a special exhibition during the Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair. His impulse to paint was inspired by a joke by the art critic, Jan Verwoert: “Why are conceptual artists painting again? Because they think it's a good idea.”
In the process of responding to this joke, Chong has undertaken an extended interrogation of painting. His first paintings were Cover (Versions) (2009 - ), book covers for books he had not yet read but intended to read. Over time, the paintings have become more painterly, incorporating gestures of exaggerated brush strokes and abstracted masses of colour to tears on the canvas surface. Things That Remain Unwritten (2013 - ), a later series of paintings that are wholly abstract, is evidence of this evolution.
Across the series and the years of painting, he has worked with the same sized canvas and with the same brand of acrylic paint. Both sets of materials are purchased off the shelf from Art Friend, an art supply store located at Bras Basah Complex. Each painting is defined by these materials and everyday parameters of Chong’s life.
For other works by Heman Chong please visit: https://pubhtml5.com/umoh/qosp
Acrylic on canvas
61 x 46 cm