09.02.2004

[berlin] KUNSTLOTTERY

Topic(s): opening | No Comments

Date/Time: 02/09/2004 12:00 am


KUNSTLOTTERY
apologies for any cross postingssss / please forward on to
everyone
KUNSTLOTTERY
A NEW PROJECT BY HEMAN CHONG
YOU ARE INVITED TO THE OPENING
AT KUNSTBANK (BRUNNENSTR. 188-190, 10119 BERLIN)
ON THE 2ND OF SEPTEMBER 2004, 1900 HRS
AND ALSO HEMAN CHONG WILL BE PRESENTING HIS WORK
IN NBK (NEUEN BERLINER KUNSTVEREINS, CHAUSSEESTR, 128)
ON THE 1ST OF SEPTEMBER 2004, 1900 HRS (WITH SEBASTIAN LÜTGERT)
SEE YOU THERE!
03 August 2004, Mariannenplatz, Berlin, Germany : Artist Statement for
KunstLottery.
In November 2002, I embarked on a 3 week journey to Beijing to
visit my aunt and uncle whom were appointed by their company to be
stationed in Beijing. I wanted very to much to explore the city and to
make contact with artists. But upon my arrival, I found myself under a
strange sleeping spell and basically slept for around 18 hours a day.
The rest of the hours I found myself prowling the streets, search from
store to store for bootleg DVDs. I discovered that Beijing possibly
contains one of the world’s most amazing collection of bootleg DVDs,
with hundreds of titles of not only Hollywood bulshit, but art house
films from distinguished directors. I think, all in all, I must have
collected around 300 DVDs over the course of 3 weeks. I guess my trip
to Beijing was marked by this single one activity, admist that strange
sleeping illness I was under.
I realized that these bootleg DVDs have a significant impact on the
cultural scene in China, considering that a large number of these are
art-house films(you can find Fassbinders, Tsai Ming Liangs and
Begmans…) and that these shops perform the role of commercial cinema
libraries for the film directors, students and the public at large. I
am interested in how this vast world of knowledge can be transmitted
via this underground, criminal network. Therefore, I have decided to
employ similar copyright infringement tactics in creating work from
these DVDs by sampling, reediting and distributing parts of the
films.
The first edition of CINEMAS is perhaps the best example of this
infringement. I returned in December to Singapore and immediately
suggested to Low Kee Hong, whom I know at the time was organizing an
exciting workshop called In 72 Hours. In a nutshell, he has gathered
around 10 performers who will run through this ordeal of creating a
piece which lasts for 72 hours. Which meant that the performers will
not be able to sleep for 3 days in a row. Well, perfect, I thought,
since I have been sleeping for 3 weeks, I would probably not require
any more sleep. So, I proposed to Kee Hong to run a 72 hour long
cinema, screening one film after another. I managed to present 44
films over the course of 3 days, and all that time, I watched every
single one with my audience in my makeshift cinema in a dressing room
on Fort Canning Hill. I pondered over each director’s work, trying
hard to grasp their life’s philosophy, and allowed my mind to filled
with their visions. Needless to say, after 3 days, I was pretty tired.
I have named this performance : Cinema72.
Over the course of time, I started to make works that deconstruct the
films in other manners, working with either the physicality of the DVD
disc or the packaging, or with the content of the films. This process
runs parallel with the original intentions I have charted for CINEMAS,
sustaining a more fluid and complex process of remixing the layers the
library of DVDs have provided.
KunstLottery is presented as some sort of a game that occurs in Berlin
for the duration of this show in Kunstbank. Visitors can buy a lottery
ticket (in itself an artwork) for 2 euros and stand to win a prize,
which is a photograph I have made specially, entitled Take my breath
away. I have always tried with my work to perform some sort of small
exchange where I can give a souvenir to someone as a gesture, a mark
that he or she was there before, thereby locating time and space with
a simple object and activity.
Other editions of CINEMAS have included Die Chinesinnen (presented on
Oranienstrasse, with Post-Theater, May 1st, 2003), Sleepless Whistle
(presented at the 5th Shanghai Biennale, 2004) and ClubSilencio
(presented at the Busan Biennale, 2004) and Malingering Monday (new
comission for The Cantor Centre for Visual Arts, Stanford USA,
2005)
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Heman Chong
Associate Artist / The Substation, Singapore
Mobile : +49 (0) 179 9700 531
Mariannenplatz 1, 10997 Berlin Germany

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