Kent Chan
Warm Fronts

Kent Chan, Warm Fronts, Installation views, CCA Berlin, 2022. Photos: Diana Pfammatter

Warm Fronts is a series of transmissions emanating from across the tropics. Tapping into electronic music’s long-held associations as forms of futurist statement, the project began with a series of invitations to music producers from different regions of the tropics–Guillerrrrmo from Brazil, Makossiri from Kenya, Kaleekarma from India, and Gabber Modus Operandi from Indonesia–to each produce an online music set. Each set is alike in its desire to embody in its listeners a musicality in which past and future comes into sync. Collectively they take the form of a video installation with a set of four posters (designed by Jonathan Castro) each with a piece of micro-fiction printed on mirrored plexiglass. Together they speak not of the present but foretells 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. The work was commissioned by the Hartwig Art Foundation and first presented at the Kunstinstituut Melly in Rotterdam in 2021.

Kent Chan's Warm Fronts is part of CCA Berlin's Stirring Up Trouble, a program unfolding until the end of June, and which aims to host, restage, and think alongside four distinct artistic positions that foreground acts of listening and their manifold potentialities. Through their practices, invited artists engage listening as a method of witnessing unseeable formations of violence (Lawrence Abu Hamdan); an invitation to inhabit tropical geographies otherwise (Kent Chan); an everyday practice of place-making and communitarian belonging (Black Obsidian Sound System); and a regenerative archival portal into shared inheritances and histories of struggle (Steffani Jemison and Justin Hicks). By tuning in to organized sounds, accidental leaks, and enforced silences, they conceive modes of aesthetic experience that challenge common perceptions of artmaking, and trace roadmaps to resonant imaginaries.

Stirring Up Trouble is generously supported by the foundation Between Bridges.

Kent Chan is an artist, curator and filmmaker based in the Netherlands and Singapore. His practice revolves around encounters with art, fiction and cinema, which shape a triumvirate of practices porous in form, content and context. He holds particular interest in the tropical imagination, the past and future relationships between heat and art, and contestations to the legacies of Eurocentric modernity. He is an upcoming resident at Gasworks (2022) and a former resident of Jan van Eyck Academie (2019/20), NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (2017/18) and Rupert’s Residency Program (2015). He has held solo and two-person presentations at Kunstinstituut Melly, Bonnefanten Museum, National University Singapore Museum, de Appel Amsterdam and SCCA-Ljubljana, Center for Contemporary Arts, Slovenia.