Barely Fair Chicago 2023

Lai Yu Tong

14 April to 23 April, 2023 Opening 14 April, 2023 from 6:00 to 10:00pm

april april is pleased to present The World, a single artwork by Singapore-based artist Lai Yu Tong for Barely Fair, on view at The Color Club, Chicago April 14 – 23, 2023. This is the artist’s first presentation in the United States.

Lai Yu Tong routinely investigates notions of the mundane and adequacy in daily life by way of drawing, sculpture, and photography. The artist’s practice relies on the conditions of observation (i.e., what can be seen or heard from his apartment windows, wherein he also has his studio) and modest, ubiquitous materials, like newspapers, cardboard boxes, and wood. From this perch, symbols of life emerge and are recorded, marking the innocuous as peculiar, sad, hopeful.

The World (2023) comprises ten birchwood chairs, each measuring only 2 3/4 x 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches, installed evenly in a circle. Without sitters, each chair instead holds a graphite drawing on its seat. A feather, a plane, a pair of feet, an insect, and a key, commune with a leaf, a car, an egg, a pair of rings, and a coral. For Yu Tong, The World plots a show & tell of the end-times, a meeting before the close. In their miniature immediacy the drawings express daydreams and fears, devices toward decisions, escape, and change.


Lai Yu Tong. The World, 2023. 10 birchwood chairs, graphite on paper. 2.75 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches each.

Lai Yu Tong (b. 1996, Singapore) is a visual artist whose works span across image-making, painting, drawing and installation. He makes works about the things he sees, things he eats, things he buys, things he throws away, and other things; examining habits of consumption in the modern world. He has held solo exhibitions across Singapore at Temporary Unit (2022); The Substation Gallery (2021); Comma Space (2020); and DECK (2019). Group exhibitions include Singapore Art Museum (2023); Starch (2023); Art Agenda S.E.A. (2022); and Institute of Contemporary Art, Singapore (2019), among others.

Barely Fair Chicago 2023

Lai Yu Tong

14 April to 23 April, 2023
Lai Yu Tong. The World, 2023. 10 birchwood chairs, graphite on paper. 2.75 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches each.

Barely Fair Chicago 2023

Lai Yu Tong

14 April to 23 April, 2023 Opening 14 April, 2023 from 6:00 to 10:00pm

april april is pleased to present The World, a single artwork by Singapore-based artist Lai Yu Tong for Barely Fair, on view at The Color Club, Chicago April 14 – 23, 2023. This is the artist’s first presentation in the United States.

Lai Yu Tong routinely investigates notions of the mundane and adequacy in daily life by way of drawing, sculpture, and photography. The artist’s practice relies on the conditions of observation (i.e., what can be seen or heard from his apartment windows, wherein he also has his studio) and modest, ubiquitous materials, like newspapers, cardboard boxes, and wood. From this perch, symbols of life emerge and are recorded, marking the innocuous as peculiar, sad, hopeful.

The World (2023) comprises ten birchwood chairs, each measuring only 2 3/4 x 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches, installed evenly in a circle. Without sitters, each chair instead holds a graphite drawing on its seat. A feather, a plane, a pair of feet, an insect, and a key, commune with a leaf, a car, an egg, a pair of rings, and a coral. For Yu Tong, The World plots a show & tell of the end-times, a meeting before the close. In their miniature immediacy the drawings express daydreams and fears, devices toward decisions, escape, and change.


Lai Yu Tong (b. 1996, Singapore) is a visual artist whose works span across image-making, painting, drawing and installation. He makes works about the things he sees, things he eats, things he buys, things he throws away, and other things; examining habits of consumption in the modern world. He has held solo exhibitions across Singapore at Temporary Unit (2022); The Substation Gallery (2021); Comma Space (2020); and DECK (2019). Group exhibitions include Singapore Art Museum (2023); Starch (2023); Art Agenda S.E.A. (2022); and Institute of Contemporary Art, Singapore (2019), among others.