At Work With Thomas Kong
Author: Dan Miller
Illustrator: Ruby T
Publisher: Chicago and Auburn, Indiana: Half Letter Press, 2017
44 pages, soft cover, staple bound, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
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.