Heman Chong: The Endless Summer

2024.10.27 - 2025.2.16

Heman Chong, detail from Perimeter, 2017-2024, mixed media installation, dimensions variable.


Location:  UCCA Dune

Heman Chong's artistic practice navigates the intricacies of sociopolitical themes by channeling the power of storytelling and everyday objects. He often employs strategies such as staging situations, engaging in acts of writing, participation, and collaboration in his works across different mediums, including visual art, performance, and installation. In “The Endless Summer,” Chong’s upcoming solo exhibition at UCCA Dune, Chong will transport the viewers to a surreal world on the wintery beach in Northern China, unfolding a story about everyday life in the tropics. The exhibition dwells on this single season, expanding in all directions about heat, humidity, sweat, and the sun. The cavernous spaces of UCCA Dune will play host to a bookshop, a million name cards, 500 postcards, numerous wind chimes and other ideas, objects and situations that point to an imaginary journey around a tiny tropical island. The works in this exhibition will think about collectivity and circulation. It is a story of images, texts, and objects being moved from one place to another. Within the exhibition, everything is in flux. Multiple versions of the exhibition are produced by shifting the objects around constantly via performative gestures that involve the displacement and relocation of these things that are being presented to the audience. This exhibition is curated by UCCA curator Luan Shixuan.

About the Artist

Heman Chong (b. 1977, Malaysia, living and working in Singapore) is an artist, curator and writer. His art practice involves an investigation into how individuals and communities look into the future based on their philosophies, reasons, and methods. Charged with a conceptual drive, this research is then adapted into objects, images, installations, situations or texts. In 2006, he initiated a writing workshop with Leif Magne Tangen at Project Arts Center in Dublin where they co-authored PHILIP, a science fiction novel, with Mark Aerial Waller, Cosmin Costinas, Rosemary Heather, Francis McKee, David Reinfurt and Steve Rushton. Between 2012 and 2014, Chong produced Moderation(s), a third space that exists between Witte de With Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, Netherlands and Spring Workshop in Hong Kong, China that involved more than 50 artists. Moderation(s) comprised a conference, three exhibitions, three residencies and a book of short stories. The artist has developed solo exhibitions at Swiss Institute (New York), Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai), NUS Museum (Singapore), Kunstverein Milano (Milan), Motive Gallery (Amsterdam), Hermes Third Floor (Singapore), Vitamin Creative Space (Guangzhou), Art In General (New York), Project Arts Centre (Dublin), Ellen de Bruijne Projects (Amsterdam), The Substation (Singapore), Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), and Sparwasser HQ (Berlin). His work has also been shown extensively in group exhibitions across different art institutions, including Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Kroeller-Muller Museum, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Nam June Paik Art Center, Gertrude Contemporary, Arnolfini, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Hamburger Bahnhof, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Kadist Art Foundation, and Daejeon Museum of Art. He has participated in numerous 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), and represented Singapore in the 50th Venice Biennale (2003).