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 aggrandizing ‘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 rationalizations of luck and chance. Works in the exhibition take on unseen economies that rely on these rationalizations, 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.