The catalogue for Heman Chong's first solo museum exhibition in mainland China, at the Rockbund Art Museum, provides an insightful and critical look into the Singaporean artist's recent practice. To address the centrality of language, books, and the act of reading in Chong's oeuvre, this publication features newly commissioned texts from a variety of contributors: an introduction by museum director Larys Frogier, and essays by the exhibition's curator Li Qi, Hong Kong–based curator and critic Pauline J. Yao, and New York–based curator Weng Xiaoyu. These are rounded out with a piece of semifiction by Ken Liu, Boston-based lawyer, science-fiction writer, and translator, who played a central role in realizing Legal Bookshop (Shanghai), one of the works featured in the exhibition.
Ifs, Ands, or Buts is illustrated with images of the entirety of works included in the show at Rockbund Art Museum reproduced alongside documentation of Chong's correspondence and collaboration with Liu, as well as a section dedicated to the humorous tabloid stories from Chong's work Papaya Daily.
Copublished with Rockbund Art Museum (RAM), Shanghai, on the occasion of the exhibition “Heman Chong: Ifs, Ands, or Buts,” January 23–May 3, 2016.
Contributors Larys Frogier, Heman Chong, Li Qi, Ken Liu, Xiaoyu Weng, Pauline J. Yao