Heman Chong (Singapore)

Foreign Affairs

Keynote Talk

Synopsis: Taking on multiple pragmatic uses, the back entrances of embassies have not only been used for deliveries and hassle-free entry, but for secret political conversations, allowing these doors to take on a symbolic meaning representing everything in politics that is unsaid, invisible, and sinister. In his keynote talk unpacking his ongoing project: Foreign Affairs, Heman Chong examines these unassuming backdoors in a series of photographs that he has collected throughout his travels. Chong does not reveal the identity of which country each door belongs, but allows something to remain veiled and inaccessible. He has chosen to force his viewer to see the image repeated multiple times, as if they are a figure of surveillance.

Heman Chong’s FIELD MEETING participation is supported by Alserkal Avenue (Dubai).


Heman Chong is an artist whose work is located at the intersection between image, performance, situations and writing, and often investigates the manner through which individuals form associations between objects in their environments. Recent solo exhibitions were held at the Swiss Institute (Legal Bookshop- Shanghai, 2018), Rossi & Rossi (Abstracts from The Straits Times, 2018), Calle Wright (Never is a Promise, 2018), 72-13 (Because, the Night, 2017), Rockbund Art Museum (Ifs, Ands, Or Buts, 2016), South London Gallery (An Arm, A Leg and Other Stories, 2015) among others. He has participated in numerous international biennales, including the 1st Yinchuan Biennale (2016) and many more. He is currently working on a novel, The Book of Drafts, which will be published by Polyparenthesis in 2019.