January 26, 2015 - Art Sonje Center - Heman Chong at Art Sonje Center
January 26, 2015

Heman Chong at Art Sonje Center

Heman Chong, The Art Of Production. Altered found object (Copy of Artforum, October 2007), 26.8 x 13.4 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Wilkinson Gallery.

Heman Chong
Never, A Dull Moment 
7 February–29 March 2015 

Art Sonje Center
87 Yulgok-ro 3-gil
Jongno-gu, Seoul
110-200 Republic of Korea

T + 82 2 733 8945
F +82 2 733 8377

www.artsonje.org

“Two strawberries are sitting on a wall, swinging their legs. 
One strawberry turns to the other and says: 
Wait a minute, we don’t have legs.” 

I began to think about this exhibition as a short story that I have always wanted to write. About a non-profit art space caught in a mid-life crisis, the stuff of jokes and stereotypes, full of sordid detail and slander that nobody would care to hear. A space (a fictional character, I assure you) who wakes up every morning and immediately gets entangled with feelings of guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism and/or worthlessness. A space that becomes increasingly regretful of what has been done with it. 

The show must go on, the space said, in an attempt to open both eyes, to get out of bed, begrudgingly. Another day, another show, another torrent of emails. So, I’m thinking, this space has never felt like this before it turned 35. Before 35, it had confidence. A space that dealt comfortably with all sorts of stuff, all sorts of cutting-edge shit. It remembered everyone’s name and addressed you intimately, as if you were an old friend it had known for years. In reality, it had no friends, not even on Facebook. It had followers, a legion of fans. The parties were legendary; an endless river of beer, soju and beautiful people. 

This void inside me cannot ever be filled, the space thought (aloud), objects would come and go, but nothing ever sticks, I am defined by this repeated shifting around of things inside me, exhibitions built and torn. Art, placed, removed. I can’t do this any longer, it typed a Whatsapp message to a commercial gallery, with whom it had been having an on/off affair with. Don’t be silly, the gallery replied. Take a beach vacation, get drunk on cocktails and everything will be fine. Can you come over now, I miss you, the space typed. No, I’m sorry I can’t, the gallery replied, I have an opening tonight, remember?

A one trick pony galloped into the apartment. Hey, how’s it going, the pony asked. Not much, the space replied, sitting up in bed, lighting a cigarette. Hey, I saw that artist last night at the bar again, the one trick pony said, he told me it was waiting for the original idea, but I didn’t see him with anyone the entire evening. Oh, that must have sucked, the space said, coughing (loudly). 

And so on. 


Heman Chong is an artist and writer whose conceptually charged investigations into how individuals and communities imagine the future generates a multiplicity of objects, images, installations, situations and texts. Between 2012 and 2014, he produced “Moderation(s),” a program between Witte de With Contemporary Art in Rotterdam and Spring Workshop in Hong Kong that involved more than 50 artists and engender a conference, three exhibitions, three residencies, and a book of short stories. In 2006, he produced 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. 

Art Sonje Center was founded in 1998 and plays a crucial role in exhibiting and fostering contemporary art in Seoul, South Korea. Aimed at nurturing familiarity with contemporary artistic practice, Art Sonje Center is dedicated to the development of a program consisting of exhibitions, projects, performances, screenings, lectures, workshops, publications, and education programs.

Press enquiries: press [​at​] samuso.org


Heman Chong at Art Sonje Center
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