what I remember without any memory of having experienced it

four things (when all things went wrong)

sweet dreams are made of this (man is the measure of all things)

if the how of the story changes, can the what of the story remain the same? 

disorientation (justice, memory and strengh)

monolith (a trunkless leg not making an impression)

david (contrapposto)

bronze ratio (fostering bonds between beauty, truth and power that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye)

naming / if I'm white

carte blanche (white marble mistakes) exhibition

chan teck guan jee and stefan pente 

at the art-space carico massimo

former general warehouses, via della cinta esterna 48/50 in livorno (it)

if the how of the story changes, can the what of the story remain the same?


what have the romans ever done for us?

who knew that smoking could increase the risk of lung cancer?

where is my vote?

am I supposed to think that they were telling me the truth?

how do you solve a problem like maria?

is the sky blue?

are you really going to do that?

is the pope catholic?

how do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

(is this supposed to be some kind of joke?)

am I really supposed to think that they were telling me the truth?

am I?



the activity of collective remembering—inseparable from power relations—is a claim of the importance of one narrative over another. I understand it as a hegemonic discourse that is used in relation to certain historic events. individual memory is the only type of memory there is. collective memory is a type of oxymoron, a contradiction in itself. collective memory can, however, be used to provide an understanding of its constructed character.  


and … the symbolic invitation of a ghost into a space, a mimetic appearance mirroring the manifestation of power, can undermine and impair it by denying its singularity.


and …

if the how of the story changes, can the what of the story remain the same? 

cotton, ink, paint, tension belts

no.1, 160 x 24 x 227 cm / no.6, 147 x 22 x 264 cm, chan / pente, 2019

what I remember without any memory of having experienced it

sea water (total body water) 2 glass containers, wood, aluminium

160 x 45 x 34 cm, chan / pente, 2019

monolith (a trunkless leg not making an impression)


we were running up a hill in the rain, our eyes unfocused in the dim light, amidst fatigue and the weight of water all around us. only the trees were breathing at this point. thick branches, thin stems, dark dark smells. 

something had burnt here a few weeks earlier - an accident, we were told.


a pillar-shaped older poly-chemical foam compound. high like the hip of the incurious man passing by. it carries a piece of marble covering its oval cut top perfectly as if it was a liquefied layer of it self. melted under the pressure time subjects all bodies to. in its unity it is a landmark to the question for the monument it once might have been: what did you want?  


I trip and am thankful for it. I lie down motionless. no one notices. everything is becoming quieter now. I lie here, wet and numb, clothes skin breath all melting into the same thing. there was never such a thing so stupid as discipline.

monolith (a trunkless leg not making an impression)

carrara marble, foam rubber

25 x 22 x 81.5 cm, chan / pente, 2019

bronze ratio (fostering bonds between beauty, truth and power that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye)


it has never been in my interest to flip out. visitors float around this massive building, taking photographs of one another in disinterested poses. they take photographs with a ritual bowl. they take photographs with the buddha. they take photographs with the skull of a blue whale.


the right knee touches the forehead… walking slowly from A to B… keeping the connection between knee and head. the second connection. lifting one arm towards a sky simultaneously turning it in its shoulder joint and in the elbow so that the palm of the hand, first facing ones own thigh is now facing forward, towards an audience if there is one. breaking the extensions in between point A (making sense) and point B (the sensual). deliverance from automatic somatic auto-somatic reactions towards a restoring of freedom of movement. the navel is no longer the center of the world. extremities are extended beams of thought. the body as an idea is crisscrossed with axes and thresholds, with latitudes and longitudes and lines along becomings and transitions.


[ I want to take out this part - ]


three new galleries complete the transformation of this national museum. with them, one is free to rediscover egypt, explore east asia and celebrate the fascinating art of oceania. this completes a fifteen-year journey, restoring one of the united kingdom’s finest victorian buildings, revealing remarkable treasures and creating inspiring learning experiences for visitors.

the installation and all sculptural things and thing-coalitions exhibited at carico massimo came into being on-site and were developed collectively by chan and pente. all of them are informed by the involvement of the artists' body measurements and their respective bodily reactions / body-memories triggered by the encounter with the earlier described 'white marble mistakes' met in livorno and florence.   

david (contrapposto)


the contrapposto is a frozen moment in a movement called walking and one leg is standing, carrying the whole weight of the body while the other leg is about to be lifted from the ground and walking is a movement described once by laurie anderson as a slightly forward falling and the white naked male body is model and icon and curse and the white teenager picks up an empty can and throws it at a parked car and michael decides to make an awesome sculpture today and a boy is sitting in his room on the edge of the bed—waiting to grow up and one leg is holding all the weight and taking a step after a long period of stagnation tears the meniscus in the other leg with the sound of air escaping from a jabbed tire and beauty lies in the eye of the beholder and this eye is accursed


this is the first time I am watching 'paris is burning'. my class watches it together, for a module called 'critical and contextual studies'. I look around me. aside from myself and an indian man, the whole class is white. the lecturer is a white woman. the director of this film is a white woman. in the film, pepper labeija states that "any other nationality that is not of the white set, knows this and accepts this till the day they die. that it is everybody's dream and ambition as a minority - to live and look as well as a white person." I look around me. she continues - "we as a people, for the past 400 years - is the greatest example of behavior modification in the history of civilization. we have had everything taken away from us, and yet we have all learned how to survive. that is why, in the ballroom circuit, it is so obvious that if you have captured the great white way of living, or looking, or dressing, or speaking - you is a marvel." I look around me. that was four years ago. I retrieve pepper labeija's words from a google search so I can read them again, today.

david (contrapposto)

two stamps, clay

11 x 3 cm and 34 x 34 x 78 cm, chan / pente, 2019

what I remember without any memory of having experienced it


sitting here listening to the sound of sliding sand, of glassrock, the coordinates of a map shifting. everything is electric blue and deep below there is something turning around. her grandaunt was a scribe and that was how she learnt to write - she watched her. and now I am watching her, a pool of thick black leaf soup draining away, giving way to a single thought. I pluck the pale brown tails of these tiny vegetables, throwing them into a bin already overflowing with overripe sun. these tiny vegetables. I walk down a cold aisle with green baskets and pick up five sagging bags full of black soup.


when she was young she was water—water was all there was and under the water formed a stone. the stone—setting down on a fundament of cold lava—arose from the skeletons of animals crushed under layers and layers of skeletons of more animals for 400 million years. the stone became rock-formation. the water remained water and uncountable millions of years later she’s still young and still remembers everything. the 0.9 % of salt in every one of my watery cells is the amount of salt with which she started when water was all there was.

bronze ratio (fostering bonds between beauty, truth and power that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye)

felt tip pen, elastic band

150 x 28 x 277 cm, chan / pente, 2019

sweet dreams are made of this (man is the measure of all things)


measure your head—start on the thickest part of your forehead where your eyebrows lay—from there pull a line back, over your atlas and from there further around to the forehead again. note the number. continue now by measuring from your chin, up, over your lips, nose forehead, the dome of your skull down to your atlas. note this number. take these two numbers and calculate them into a globe. convert the globe now into a cube.

both of our heads measured following the basic idea of craniometrics provided us with the cast for two slightly different chocolate cubes we forged of 9.5 kg fair-trade chocolate from mexico, venezuela, ghana, ethiopia


pure gula melaka, without any addition, should be dark in colour and pliable to the touch. hard, lighter coloured blocks have likely been mixed with cane sugar. this is not always a bad thing, however. some people actually prefer it to the pure kind as the flavour is less intense. keep it in a dark, dry place and it can last for many years. adding a pandan leaf or two to enhance the aroma. nanas, sireh, kunyit - all of this baking in a pan. now, I will have to ask you to go back to where you came from.

sweet dreams are made of this (man is the measure of all things)

fair trade dark chocolate (volume of heads following craniometric measurements), wood, iron

15.4 x 15.4 x 15.4 cm / 14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 cm, chan / pente, 2019

four things (when all things went wrong)

carrara marble (heights without heads), printed fabric, polyester fibre

80 x 70 x 175 cm, chan / pente, 2019

four things (when all things went wrong)


the marble used today is from a time when this place was not yet crowded by human people. from the day I was born this place was crowded by humans. humans and things. things never scared me. humans did. I remember to have been called names that I could not associate with but that were curiously shaping me, both in my own eye and the eyes of others. the marble used today is used to create images of and names for people that could think of themselves differently. the memory marble has of this place has no connection to the narratives it is used to tell. because marble is old and has—with its age—become stubborn, it holds the pose and keeps the face it is given but I, who is trying to move as much as I possibly can to stay soft, am able to see that it will lose its temper one day soon. then it will rage and move and roll and waltz to mill to grind to break the hard and selfish hand that used it as a mirror for their narcissistic disruptive force.        


this is standing on this. this never stood this way before. it had never been like that. that is not the case, but this is now against the wall. a logical conclusion would be that this was never meant to be here. yet this has always been here. for at least 400 million years. and this? this was here 35 years at the most. it's not enough to say that this - oh that’s true, then that would be about 600 years now ... but that can’t be right. it says here that this / oh, that’s true. yes. this is quite straightforward actually, that can’t stand without this. not this, this. yes - no, that / underneath this, yes you will see - sorry. isn’t that incredible? that's right. yes, that’s fine. no, not this time. no. no.

disorientation (justice, memory and strength)


wealthy europeans love to collect objects - like this rare porcelain elephant from china. these are fun and unique objects to have in their homes. a lot of people in europe are fascinated by wild creatures. in 1775, for example, a visitor to the grand zoo in paris would have seen plenty of exotic animals - tigers, various kinds of monkeys, an armadillo, an ocelot, a condor. in 1851, london hosted the great exhibition, which displayed goods and "oddities" gathered from remote locations across the globe. those who had enough money and were looking for unusual pets could purchase papuans, burmese, mauritians, cypriots, gambians …


she is said to remember everything. she is said to tend to be resentful. she is feared to seek revenge to aim to kill to run amok, once freed from her oppressors. (the word amok originated from the malay/indonesian word meng-âmuk, which roughly translated means 'to make a furious and desperate charge' and was appropriated into the language I’m using through a description of a colonizer describing fiercely resisting colonized people). orientation is a word I don’t like to use anymore. and so is navigation. the point of destination can become a point of origin. she is said to have developed unlimited strength ridding herself from her chains.


this object doesn't look like a real elephant. the large, powerful creature is represented now as a stout and cute figure. why would the artist do that? maybe so it might be able to better serve its function as a teapot. maybe so ... ya. mm. maybe.

disorientation (justice, memory and strengh)

porcelain, coffee

variable, chan / pente, 2019

naming / if I'm white

wallpapered texts each 42 x 30 cm

chan / pente, 2019