At Work with Thomas Kong
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.