Grey Projects


It's a Set Situation by Kray Chen [2016]

[08.04.16 — 07.05.16]

The artist Kray Chen has been receiving strong institutional notices, with residencies at FRAC des Pays de la Loire, France and the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, as well as recent exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art Singapore and Art Stage. In his first solo exhibition at Grey Projects, Chen deploys a number of mathematical constructions, including the probabilities of winning mahjong combinations and the calculation of prime numbers. Chen’s new works shift between the predictability that mathematical logic affords, and the absurdity of aggrandising ‘wins’ and ‘profits’ amidst mathematically improbable odds.

The artist is interested in what animates our improbable pursuit for profit, our numerological obsessions and the everyday gestures and states of mind that facilitate our rationalisations of luck and chance. Works in the exhibition take on unseen economies that rely on these rationalisations, as the audience witness the ways in which mathematical derivations are equally financial calculations as they are superstitious ones - the roles these numerical formulations play in superstitions, arbitrariness, and the moulding of a profit-driven psyche.

Chen will be launching his first monograph alongside this exhibition.

Kray Chen (b. 1987, Singapore) is a visual artist based in Singapore. He completed his MA in Fine Arts at LASALLE in 2014, and has since actively practised locally and internationally. His previous exhibitions include a solo show in 2013 titled First Prize, as well as numerous group shows such as Art Stage Singapore 2014, Prudential Eye Awards Exhibition (SG), The Pleasure of Improbable Placements (Spain), and Paradis Sans Promesse (France), among othersChen’s practice largely deals with lived experience and corporeality. Chen taps on the peculiar characteristics of the movements, gestures, and behaviours of both himself and those around him to discuss the value of progress in Singapore, reflecting on the psyche of a place caught between traditions and modernisation.