Booklet release for “At Work with Thomas Kong” by Dan Miller with Illustrations by Ruby T, published by Half Letter Press
Dan Miller and Ruby T in conversation with writer and curator Kate Sierzputowski, preceded by a screening of a short film on Thomas Kong by Jimmy Schaus
Thomas Kong makes collages and assemblages out of advertising, packaging, and other surplus material while managing Kim’s Corner Food, a convenience store in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. In this publication, Chicago-based Australian artist Dan Miller introduces Kong’s prolific art practice and the first three years of their experimental collaboration. Together their productions have ranged from business cards and shopping baskets to The Back Room at Kim’s Corner Food. Housed in a converted storage room behind the store, The Back Room is a community-oriented art space and expanding archive of Kong’s work. Writing about the development of this interdependent relationship across gaps in age, culture, and artistic education, Miller reflects on what might be learned from both the ingenuity of Kong’s practice and their unlikely alliance. At Work with Thomas Kong includes excerpts from several interviews with Kong and illustrations by artist Ruby T, one of the project’s growing number of co-conspirators.
At Work with Thomas Kong will be released in the context of Temporary Services’ “Self-Reliance Library”—“an autonomous reading and creating library”—as part of their ongoing collaborative project “Self-Reliance School” project at Oak Park’s new Compound Yellow art space.
Thomas Kong lives and works in Chicago. His convenience store, Kim’s Corner Food, features an evolving installation of his collage and assemblage work. Kong received a degree in English Literature from Sogang University in 1972, and has lived in the Chicago area since 1977. For more information and details of upcoming projects visithttp://thomaskong.biz/
Dan Miller is an Australian artist living in Chicago. Since the fall of 2014 he has worked with Thomas Kong in an experimental collaboration whose projects include The Back Room at Kim’s Corner Food, an art space and archive housed in an adapted storage room behind Kong’s convenience store. Further information and work can be found athttp://danmiller.website/
Ruby T is an artist based in Chicago. Through drawing, collage, and object-making, she investigates the stimulating, banal, and often infrastructural as sites of power and exchange: nightclubs, domestic appliances, google image search results, broadcast news, brutalist architecture, sex. For more information visit http://rubyt.net/
Jimmy Schaus is a filmmaker and musician from Florida, currently based in Chicago. Recent films by Jimmy can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/user23682440
Kate Sierzputowski is a writer and curator based in Chicago. In 2013 she founded the website INSIDE\WITHIN to explore and archive the creative spaces of Chicago-based artists. Kate regularly contributes art writing to Hyperallergic, Colossal, and the Chicago Reader, and is a co-director of the artist-run gallery Julius Caesar. Her writing and interviews can be found at http://katesierzputowski.com/