South London Gallery

Heman Chong

11 Dec 2015 - 28 Feb 2016

Courtesy Heman Chong. Photo Andy Keate.
An Arm, A Leg and Other Stories
11 Deccember 2015 - 28 February 2016

A million blacked out business cards covering the floor set the scene for this exhibition which explores ideas of exchange, and the role of rules and regulations in determining codes of behaviour. Every Wednesday at 1pm and 5pm, a performance will occur in the main space where participants are taught to recite a short story of 500 words which is transmitted by word of mouth by an instructor.

Second-hand copies of novels are included in the gift shop and made available for sale, while sixty-six paintings in the gallery weave together a list of novels, abstractions and spam e-mails.

In the first floor galleries Writing, Rooms, an informal residency programme for fiction writers, sees Mira Mattar, and a collaboration between Natasha Soobramanien and Luke Williams, working on their own projects throughout the course of the exhibition. Chong invited the writers to develop texts they were already working on, creating a continuum undisrupted by the hosting institution. At the end of the residency they have been asked to publish an excerpt of their writings and hold a public conversation to discuss their experiences.

Heman Chong is an artist and writer whose work is located at the intersection between image, performance, situations and writing. His work continuously interrogates the many functions of the production of narratives in our everyday lives.

Heman Chong (b. 1977) is an artist and writer whose work is located at the intersection between image, performance, situations and writing. His work continuously interrogates the many functions of the production of narratives in our everyday lives.

In 2014, he co-founded Stationary with Christina Li. A collection of stories published by Spring Workshop, defined as a recess from their own practices, Stationary invites artists, curators and writers to take stock, chart and elaborate on their obsessions, fascinations and influences within a suspended temporal moment. Copies of Stationary are distributed free of charge via

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. He has produced solos exhibitions at Art Sonje Center, Gallery Em, P!, FOST Gallery, Michael Janssen Gallery, The Reading Room Bangkok, Future Perfect, Wilkinson Gallery, Rossi & Rossi, SOTA Gallery, NUS Museum, Kunstverein Milano, Motive Gallery, Hermes Third Floor, Vitamin Creative Space, Art In General, Project Arts Centre, Ellen de Bruijne Projects, The Substation, Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien and Sparwasser HQ.

In 2015, he has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including expo zero, Tate Modern, Take me (I’m yours), Monnaie de Paris, The Great Ephemeral, New Museum, Time of Others, The National Museum of Art in Osaka, When we share more than ever, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Moves & Countermoves: On Sweat, Paper, and Porcelain, CCS Bard/Hessel Museum, Medium at Large, Singapore Art Museum.

He has participated in numerous international biennales including 20th Sydney Biennale (2016), 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014), Asia Pacific Triennale 7 (2012), 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). In January 2016, a major solo exhibition If, Ands, or Buts will be presented at Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai and is curated by its Senior Curator, Li Qi. A new monographic volume on Chong’s practice by M+ Chief Curator, Doryun Chong, is currently in progress in conjunction with his 2015 solo exhibition, Never, A Dull Moment at Art Sonje Center, Seoul.

Writers' Biographies
Mira Mattar writes experimental fiction and prose poetry. She is a contributing editor at Mute and co-runs a small/DIY press. She recently edited the first critical anthology on Chris Kraus, You Must Make Your Death Public: A collection of texts and media on the work of Chris Kraus, and co-edited Anguish Language: Writing and Crisis, an anthology of essays, poetry and experimental works exploring self-publishing, poetry and political speech arising in the wake of the 2008 financial/social crisis. She lives in south east London. Some of her work can be read here.

Natasha Soobramanien and Luke Williams are the authors of the first novels Genie and Paul (Myriad Editions, 2012) and The Echo Chamber (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin Viking, 2011). Their collaborative project, Diego Garcia, is a novel-in-installments. Chapter 1, 'Debt', first appeared in Issue no. 12 of The White Review and is now available here. Chapter 2, ‘Individualism’ will appear in the Winter issue of BOMB magazine. During their writing residency, they will work on Chapter 3. They are both part of the collective of artists and writers who organised Plastic Words, an event series at Raven Row, held in January 2015 which sought to mine the contested space between art and literature. Natasha and Luke live in Brussels and London respectively.

Tags: Heman Chong, Chris Kraus, Leif Magne Tangen, Mark Aerial Waller