Publication: Calendars (2020-2096)
Essay | “Heman Chong: Calendars (2020 – 2096)” | David Teh
Calendars (2020-2096) comprises 1,001 images of deserted public interiors in Singapore photographed over a span of 7 years (2004-2010). It signals specific concerns of Heman Chong's practice, one that can be located in the intersection between time, space, and situation. The 'archive' of images, set within the premise of how one marks time, generates an imaginary meandering within the interiors of Singapore, a city that is constantly being remade, often appropriating signs and styles from a wide spectrum of influences. Based on a series of revisitations to the public spaces that Chong has a prior relationship to – shopping centers, museums, MRT stations, schools – the artist carefully frames the spaces without attempting to add any new meaning to the space. No permission was requested for any of the photographs captured, nor was any prior arrangement made to have it devoid of people. Thus, the photographs veer less towards the staged, but rather, can be seen as ready-mades. Yet this appropriation very quickly transmutes into another creature, one of fiction and narrative. The project can be viewed in its entirety as a novel about interior spaces, as well as, a historical (also a kind of imaginary fiction) document of interior spaces.
Featuring an essay by David Teh, as well as a conversation piece between Ahmad Mashadi and Heman Chong, this brochure brings into light elements of Heman’s practice.