On Sweat, Paper, and Porcelain
Artists: Heman Chong, Ho Rui An, The Propeller Group and Superflex, Andrew Norman Wilson and Akhil C, and Yee I-Lann
Facilitated by the liberalizing of world trade, the internationalization of production and commodity consumption, and developments in transport and communications, offshoring has allowed nomadic capitalists, itinerant individuals, contemporary artists and cultural producers to scour the globe for resources and new markets, opening the world through displacing labor and circulating capital.
On Sweat, Paper, and Porcelain presents works by Heman Chong, Ho Rui An, The Propeller Group and Superflex, Andrew Norman Wilson and Akhil C, and Yee I-Lann: their work leverages global infrastructures of offshoring, to produce art situated in exchange. Focusing our attention on personal experiences of complex global processes, a landscape of calling cards, the sweaty back of anthropologist Charles le Roux, blue and white ceramic plates depicting a workforce, an encounter with a Fed-ex employee, a Vietnamese soap based on a shipment of porcelain commissioned as part of an artist residency and a long-distance relationship between an artist and a personal assistant demystify the global as an expansive, open world. This art–made through the very infrastructures of an internationalised art world—measures the densities and histories of the global in the span of a calling card, the lengths of internet orders and the intimate space between you and me.
On Sweat, Paper, and Porcelain is part of offshoreart.co a research project that examines the offshore to understand global infrastructures and their supporting narratives.
Sourced by Kathleen Ditzig
Heman Chong is an artist based in Singapore. He received his M.A 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 generates a multiplicity of objects, images, installations, situations and texts.
Between 2012-2014, he produced ‘Moderation(s)’, a program between Witte de With Contemporary Art in Rotterdam and Spring Workshop in Hong Kong that involved more than fifty 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.
The artist has developed solo exhibitions at Art Sonje Center (Seoul), Gallery Em (Seoul), P! (New York), FOST (Singapore), Michael Janssen (Singapore), The Reading Room (Bangkok), Future Perfect (Singapore), Wilkinson (London), Rossi & Rossi (London / Hong Kong), SOTA Gallery (Singapore), 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), Sparwasser HQ (Berlin).
He has participated in numerous international biennales including 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).
Ho Rui An is an artist and writer working in the intersections of contemporary art, cinema, performance and theory. In a practice that attends to the conditions of visuality in a time of mass image production, he writes, talks and thinks around images, investigating their sites of emergence, transmission and disappearance. He has presented projects at the 2nd Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Serpentine Galleries (London), Singapore Art Museum, LUMA/Westbau (Zürich) and Witte de With (Rotterdam). He is the Singapore desk editor for ArtAsiaPacific and has contributed to numerous catalogues and periodicals. In 2011, his first novel, Several Islands, was published by The Substation (Singapore). He lives and works in New York and Singapore.
The Propeller Group, formed in 2006 by Phunam, Matt Lucero, and Tuan Andrew Nguyen, is a Ho Chi Minh City and Los Angeles-based collective. TPG uses mass media as a platform to combine seemingly contradictory phenomena: advertising and politics, history and future, and public and private. TPG often pushes their work back into the public sphere, using commodities as a form of public art. As an integral part of their practice, TPG has cultivated the guise of an advertising agency—a public relations firm that confuses the brand and the brand message. Their work has recently been included in No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and The Ungovernables, New Museum Triennial. TPG has also exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, The Hammer Museum, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Guangzhou Triennial, and The Singapore Art Museum. In 2007, the group co-founded Sàn Art, an artist-initiated contemporary art platform in Vietnam.
SUPERFLEX is an artists’ group founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Rasmus Nielsen and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen. SUPERFLEX describe their projects as Tools. A tool is a model or proposal that can actively be used and further utilized and modified by the user.
Andrew Norman Wilson is an artist based in New York. His work has exhibited at MoMA PS1 in New York, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, MuseumsQuartier Wien in Vienna, The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Fluxia in Milan, Project Native Informant in London, Yvon Lambert in Paris, the New York Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival and the Images Festival. He has lectured at Oxford University, Harvard University, Universität der Künste Berlin, and CalArts. His work has been featured in Aperture, Art in America, Artforum, Buzzfeed, Frieze, Gizmodo/Gawker, Kaleidoscope, The New Yorker, and Wired.
Yee I-Lann lives and works in Kuala Lumpur. Her primarily photomedia-based practice speculates on issues of culture, power and the role of historical memory in our social experience. Such layers necessitate an extensive and multi-layered visual vocabulary drawn from historical references, popular culture, archives and everyday objects.
Yee graduated from the University of South Australia (Adelaide, Australia) with a Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts) in 1993 with a major in Photography and a minor in Cinematography. Recent exhibitions include Away from the Long Night, MSAC, Taipei (2014); The Roving Eye: Contemporary Art from South East Asia, ARTER, Istanbul (2014); Tabled, Silverlens Galleries, Gillman Barracks, Singapore (2014); Picturing Power, Tyler Rollins, New York (2014); Curators’ Series #7. A Special Arrow Was Shot In The Neck…, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2014); You are the company in which you keep, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, UK (2013); Suspended Histories, Museum Van Loon, Amsterdam (2013); Welcome to the Jungle: Contemporary Art in Southeast Asia, Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan (2013); Art of Memory: Contemporary Textile Expressions, Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok, Thailand (2013). Yee also works in the film industry in Malaysia. Her most recent production role in 2014 was as Set Decorator for the television series Indian Summers, a Channel 4 (UK) production. She will be in residency at the Center of Contemporary Art in Singapore in 2015.