Kent Chan

Kunstinstituut Melly (17 Dec. 2021 – 20 Mar. 2022)

Installation view Kent Chan, Warm Fronts (2021), Kunstinstituut Melly. Photo Franz Mueller Schmidt. All rights reserved by Hartwig Art Foundation.

Kent Chan’s artistic practice often revolves around the tropical imaginary. His artworks explore the different contexts, politics and aesthetics of heat. The works and practices of others often form the locus of his works, which have taken the form of film, text, conversations and exhibitions.

In his latest installation presented at Kunstinstituut Melly, Warm Fronts (17 Dec. 2021 – 20 Mar. 2022), Chan furthers his interest into the past and future relationships between heat and art. He especially focuses on music emanating from across the tropics. Tapping into electronic music’s long- held associations as forms of futurist statement, in creating Warm Fronts he invited music producers and DJs in India, Indonesia, Kenya and Brazil to create a music set. Each is alike in its desire to evoke a musicality in which climate’s past and future come into sync.

These productions set the shape for Chan’s video installation, which, together with a set of posters by the artist designed by Jonathan Castro Alejos, imagines a radical tropical future to come. A sonic and solar alliance built not only upon their distanced shared histories, but the potentiality and connectivity of heat. For the artist, the tropics are already the future; the future is heat.

About the artist

Kent Chan is an artist, curator and filmmaker based in the Netherlands and Singapore. His practice revolves around our encounters with art, fiction and cinema. He holds particular interest in the tropical imagination, the past and future relationships between heat and art, and the discussion around the legacies of modernity as epistemology par excellence.

Chan is a former resident of the Jan van Eyck Academie (2019/20), the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (2017/18) and Rupert’s Residency Program (2015). He has held solo presentations at the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht, the National University Singapore Museum and SCCA-Ljubljana, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Slovenia. His work has been exhibited in venues including the SBMA Amsterdam, EYE Film Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Busan Biennale, Drodesera Festival of Performing Arts and the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts.