Roman Susan
March 19, 2022 - April 15, 2022

At the end of Winter 2022, Thomas Kong began sending text messages of daily work to Roman Susan director Nathan Abhalter Smith. After a few days and many collages, the pair decided to share this work in an online project, highlighting daily compositions until this was no longer what they were doing. The correspondence lasted about a month, and more work in this mode by Kong are available daily via @thomaskkong.

See the project here at Roman Susan's website
Psychoanalyst animals scares commentator, current cartoon improved
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
June-July 2021

Thomas Kong's work is included in Psychoanalyst animals scares commentator, current cartoon improved, a group exhibition curated by Gregory Bae at Buddy.

More information on Buddy's website
Organized by Roman Susan Art Foundation

Organized by Roman Susan, Bibliothēca is an open-participation prompt, encouraging artists and writers to contribute works on paper which are individually installed in libraries. Contributions are placed within books in the stacks – an insert, an annotation to the ever-growing accumulation of public dialogue and shared creation.

Thomas Kong's work was placed in a book held at the Rogers Park Public Library, less than a mile from Kim's Corner Food.

More information on Roman Susan's website. Information on the placement of the work can be found here.
Roman Susan Art Foundation
Community-Hosted Art Collections
September, 2020 –

Thomas Kong is included in Foundation, Roman Susan Art Foundation’s third community-hosted collection, introduced on the occasion of Artists Run Chicago 2.0 at Hyde Park Art Center in September 2020. The collection represents artist projects from programming by Roman Susan from 2012–2020.

Roman Susan’s Community-Hosted Art Collections aim to place contemporary works of art in the lives of local residents. Community members help maintain and expand the collections, hosting the work, and sharing it with family, friends, and neighbors at their home. At regular intervals, the art is transferred to another host, circulating the works throughout the community.

More information on Roman Susan’s website
Artists Run Chicago 2.0
Hyde Park Art Center
5020 S Cornell Ave, Chicago, IL 60615
September – November 2020

An installation of work by Thomas Kong is included in Artists Run Chicago 2.0, an exhibition at Hyde Park Art Center celebrating fifty artist-run spaces and organizations that fuel Chicago’s independent art scene. Bridgeport-based 062 Gallery presented work by Thomas Kong and Ed Oh, including an installation of Thomas Kong work and objects from Kim’s Corner Food in the Martha Oakman Clinton Artist Lounge.

More information on HPAC’s website and 062's website
Collage Art Association
MDL Contemporary
1524 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL
February 15 – 29, 2020

Several works by Thomas Kong are included alongside a group of artists working in and around collage practice, in this timely exhibition at Chicago's MDL Contemporary.

More information on MDL Contemporary's website
Counterpublic 2019
Cherokee Street
St. Louis, Missouri
April 13 – July 13, 2019

Venue for Thomas Kong's project:
Economic Shop
2819 Cherokee Street, St. Louis, MO, 63118
Mon–Sat 9AM–9PM, Sun 9AM–6PM

Thomas Kong is one of 30 artists and collaborations included in Counterpublic 2019, a triennial public art exhibition scaled to a St. Louis neighborhood organized by The Luminary. Counterpublic will bring contemporary art to spaces including the barbershops, bakeries, parks, and taquerias that anchor Cherokee Street and the surrounding neighborhoods of South St. Louis.

Thomas Kong's work for Counterpublic will take place inside Economic Shop, a long-standing convenience store and discount store on Cherokee Street. Alongside an installation of Thomas Kong collages made from store packaging materials, the project includes a slow distribution of artworks through the medium of commerce.

During Counterpublic, Economic Shop will provide customers with collaged shopping bags by Thomas Kong, produced at Kim's Corner Food in Chicago. To receive one of these bags, simply make a purchase during your visit to Economic Shop. If your purchase might be too small to warrant a bag, make sure to ask for one just in case.

More information on the Counterpublic website

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Be Happy
5-36-6 Jingumae 2C
Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
January 22 – February 3, 2019

An exhibition at the bookstore and art space Utrecht, in Tokyo, presents 100 new works by Thomas Kong.

More information on Utrecht's website
Passing Time at Kim's Corner Food
1029 W 35th St, Chicago, IL, 60609
September 21 – October 12, 2018

Opening reception Friday September 21, 7–10PM

“The sign behind the glass door says knock to be let in. A minute passes before the owner appears...

Thomas Kong is the Korean American owner of Kim’s Corner Food, his studio, project space and gallery of a convenience store as work-in-progress. Not what one expects walking into a bodega, given the popular cultural tropes portraying such places historically, making it difficult to dismiss its association of Sa-I-Gu (Think 1992 Los Angeles Riots) but perhaps an apt model to reinvent the relationship between commerce and art as “convenient” site-specific installation. ...” —Larry Lee

More information on the 062 gallery website
Kelly Kaczynski, Thomas Kong, Patric McCoy, and John Neff
Curated by John Neff, curated by Jamie Stevens
Delmes & Zander
Lindenstrasse 20-22, D-50674 Köln, Germany
September 9 – September 30, 2018

Delmes & Zander hosts Adler & Floyd (Chicago), The Back Room at Kim’s Corner Food (Chicago) and Diasporal Rhythms (Chicago) to present this exhibition.

The exhibition Kelly Kaczynski, Thomas Kong, Patric McCoy, and John Neff / Curated by John Neff, curated Jamie Stevens was initiated in August 2018 by Neff for Delmes & Zander at the invitation of curator Jamie Stevens and Okey Dokey. The show features works by Neff and three other Chicago-based artists: Kelly Kaczynski, Thomas Kong, and Patric McCoy. An experiment in collaboration, exchange, and practical problem solving in real time, the project will grow and change throughout its duration.

More information on the Delmes & Zander website

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Memory Palace
Curated by Nina Wexelblatt
Circle Contemporary
2010 W Carroll Ave, Chicago, IL 60612
June 1 – July 20, 2018

Opening reception Friday June 1, 5–8PM
Open hours M–F 9AM-4PM, Sat 12PM–4PM

Thomas Kong is one of seven artists included in this exhibition at Circle Contemporary, curated by Nina Wexelblatt and focused on "subconscious architectures and objects at the edge of familiarity."

More information on the Arts of Life website
An Image for a Vessel
Curated by Sharmyn Cruz Rivera
The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
35 E Upper Wacker Dr #2600, Chicago, IL 60601
January 26 – June 29, 2018

Open by appointment: email

Thomas Kong is one of ten artists included in the fifth exhibition of a joint Curatorial Fellowship program between the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the Chicago Artists Coalition, An Image for a Vessel, curated by Sharmyn Cruz Rivera.

More information on the Chicago Artists Coalition website

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Kim's Corner Food
Organized by Roman Susan
January 16 – July 7, 2018

A digital video of 777 select works created by Thomas Kong in 2017 is on view during Kim's Corner Food business hours, at the business owner's discretion.

More information and images on the Roman Susan website

Be Happy (2015–2017)
On permanent display
Corner Estes and Glenwood Avenues, Chicago, IL

In 2015, Thomas Kong began working with Roman Susan Art Foundation and a group of artists to create a public mural situated immediately outside Kim’s Corner Food. Be Happy by Thomas Kong was painted in 2017 by Kristin Abhalter, Steven Husby, Dan Miller, Cole Pierce, Kit Rosenberg, Ruby T, and Alice Tippit, with assistance from Max Guy, Maika Saworski, and Nathan Smith. This work is part of the 2017 Mile of Murals Project located in Rogers Park in the City of Chicago.
Be Happy (Street Fair)
Glenwood Ave Arts Fest
Rogers Park, Chicago, IL
August 19-20, 2017

Roman Susan Art Foundation held a pop-up exhibition of Kong's work during the annual Rogers Park street fair, the Glenwood Ave Arts Fest, on August 19 & 20.

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2015.07.15 - 2015.07.27
Roman Susan
Chicago, IL
July 1, 2017 - July 14, 2017

In the summer of 2015, Thomas Kong worked with Kristin Abhalter, Dan Miller, and Nathan Smith on a proposal for public mural near his convenience store, Kim's Corner Food at 1371 West Estes Avenue. In less than two weeks, Kong created 206 collage works for the project; 16 of the works were subsequently incorporated in the mural design, and exhibited at Roman Susan in April 2016.

This summer, Roman Susan Art Foundation is happy to share the full body of works with the public via nightly projections at 1224 West Loyola Avenue. The collage series will be presented sequentially in the order that they were created between July 15 and July 27, 2015.

More information on the Roman Susan website
at Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society
A project by Roman Susan
Chicago, IL
April 1, 2017 - May 5, 2017

Several works by Thomas Kong will be included in a collaborative exhibition in Spring 2017 presented by Roman Susan Art Foundation and the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society. The project reflects on the way neighborhoods emerge and change as a result of land development. For this project, the Historical Society has placed 100 images from the Rogers Park/West Ridge photography archive into the creative commons for public entries which repurpose, reimagine, or respond to these materials.

More information on the Roman Susan website
TCB Art Inc
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
August 3 – 20, 2016

Organized by Dan Miller

TCB is the first exhibition of Thomas Kong's work outside the United States. Taking Care of Business is an apt description of his unique artistic practice, in which his management of a convenience store in north-side Chicago has become a front for, or facilitator of, a prolific production line of collage and assemblage works.

The thousands of works Kong has made while working at the store betray an obvious resourcefulness and thrift, but many possess a surprising critical gravity. In the most striking, the ideologies of consumption—the very source of his business’ revenue—are systematically dismantled. Cut up and de-contextualized yet unavoidably familiar, the permanently branded shapes in these collages and assemblages have a resounding message: desire itself is now completely abstract.

For this exhibition at TCB Art Inc. the formerly Melbourne-based artist Dan Miller, one of Kong's friends and collaborators, has worked with Kong to choose a selection of works from a recent series. These collages on black plastic shopping bags and packing cardboard turn common symbols of American consumption into complex props, nuanced in their treatment of the natural and the synthetic.

A publication which functioned as a 'reader' for Thomas Kong's work published by Dan Miller (risograph on paper, 12 pages, 8.5 x 11 inches, edition of 60) was available at the exhibition, and was accompanied by a specially-designed room sheet/checklist.
Download publication PDF
Download room sheet/checklist PDF

Installation photographs by Christo Crocker.

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at Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center
A project by Roman Susan
Chicago, IL
May 21, 2016 - July 2, 2016

More information on the Roman Susan website
or on the CIADC website

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Coco Hunday
Tampa, FL
March 26 – May 29, 2016

Organized by Dan Miller. Curated by Dawn Grayford, Nadia Ivanova, Rhonda Massel Donovan, Libbi Ponce, Jessi Ramirez & Emiliano Settecasi

Thomas Kong is the second artist presented by Coco Hunday, an exhibition space run by Jason Lazarus in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa, Florida. An SUV full of recent artworks from Thomas Kong's growing archive was driven from Chicago to Tampa, where a group of six emerging artists studying at the University of South Florida were invited to engage the archive and curate a new exhibition of in the converted garage gallery and nearby domestic spaces.

Full documentation available at the Coco Hunday website
Be Happy (A Proposal)
Roman Susan
Chicago, IL
April 9 – 26, 2016

More information on the Roman Susan website

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The Back Room
Kim's Corner Food
Chicago, IL

The Back Room at Kim’s Corner Food houses several thousand artworks made by Thomas Kong over the past five years. The room was adapted in 2015 to store these works in a loosely-sorted archive, alongside a dedicated exhibition space that makes use of the existing architecture.

More information about The Back Room, along with documentation of exhibitions presented in the space, can be found here.

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Wild Is The Wind
Roman Susan
Chicago, IL
January 29 – February 21, 2016

Exhibition featuring works and interventions by Gwyneth Anderson, Joshua Kent, Thomas Kong, Siobhan Leonard, Nicholas Szczepanik, and Polly Yates.

More information on the Roman Susan website

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Thomas Kong / John Neff
Night Club
Chicago, IL
October 30 – December 13, 2015

More information on the Night Club website

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Be Happy With This
Pony Club
Portland, OR
June 4 – 28, 2015

Be Happy With This presented a selection of new works by Thomas Kong at Pony Club Gallery's space in Portland's Pearl District.

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The Wide Open
Roman Susan Annex
Chicago, IL
December 9 – 23, 2014

An exercise in space management, modest means, and timeliness. The Wide Open was part of an ongoing series of programming by Roman Susan which aims to develop new, locally-focused opportunities to display, create, and experience art in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.

The Wide Open included a single collage work (untitled, undated) by Thomas Kong.

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