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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See 6 Sep 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Lee Kit

b. 1978, China

Born in Hong Kong and now based in Taipei, the trans-disciplinary practice of Lee Kit (李杰) incorporates painting, moving-image and readymade objects along with other intangible elements such as light and sound to create poetic reflections on his everyday surroundings and experiences.

Lee's ongoing 'Hand-painted cloth' series originated in 2001 during his training as a painter at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and was critical in his stylistic development. The works consist of fabrics covered with repetitive lines. After painting the fabrics by hand, Lee brings them into the public sphere as functional items such as tablecloths, curtains or picnic blankets. In Sunday Afternoon: Picnic with friends and hand-painted cloth at Yung Shu O, Sai Kung (2003), for instance, photo documentation shows a picnic taking place on one of said fabrics, providing a marker of the fabric's public existence, which in this case came after a long period of government-encouraged indoor seclusion from the SARS epidemic.

Over the years, Lee's practice has expanded to include object-based installations, arranged in a seemingly haphazard fashion to create what the artist calls 'settings'. Exemplary of this was You (you)—Lee's presentation for the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. A blue office carpet covered the Hong Kong pavilion's floor, with domestic objects such as a vacuum cleaner, a bucket and an unplugged hairdryer placed throughout the space. The objects were individually familiar, yet became uncanny in their arbitrary placement—an evocation of the title, which calls to mind the abstract yet simultaneously concrete experience of looking at oneself in the mirror. The domestic items in You (you) granted viewers a sense of familiarity, lending an intimate dimension to the work.

Much of Lee's practice is about conveying an internal state—whether of loss, sadness or boredom. As such, there is a universal quality to his works. In what the artist calls his most important work, Scratching the table surface (2006–11), the forbiddance of smoking indoors resulted in Lee scratching a table-top with his finger whilst feeling equal parts happy, sad and nervous—a coming-together of emotions. What ensued was a three-year action of carving a hole out of the table with his finger and posting 300 letters to friends informing them of the activity. The table was included in A small sound in your head (28 May–4 September 2016) at SMAK in Ghent—the artist's first institutional solo exhibition in Europe.

Parallel to the exhibition at SMAK was Kit's solo show Hold your breath, dance slowly at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (12 May–9 October 2016). The exhibition included I can't help falling in love (2012), a 13-channel video installation in which each television showed footage including branded products and text hinting at Hong Kong's omnipresent market capitalism. The exhibition also included a number of Lee's object-based installations consisting of everyday objects in muted colours and subtly toned paintings, onto which swathes of light were cast from projectors—devices that often feature in his works. The pixels in the projected light provided a textural quality to Lee's installations that—in their careful composition and subtle, muted colours—can be seen as an expansion of Lee's formal training as a painter.

Kit was shortlisted for the 2013 Hugo Boss and Rockbund Art Museum Asia Art Prize and has participated in a number of major solo and group shows, including at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2018); the Sharjah Biennial (2015); the New Museum Triennial, New York (2012); and the Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum (2012).

Tessa Moldan | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

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1 & 2 by Lee Kit contemporary artwork
Lee Kit1 & 2, 2019 Acrylic, emulsion paint, inkjet ink and pencil on canvas
TKG+
Something about flowers. by Lee Kit contemporary artwork
Lee KitSomething about flowers., 2019 Plywood, single-channel video
TKG+
A man said. by Lee Kit contemporary artwork
Lee KitA man said., 2019 Single-channel video
TKG+
'You drive me crazy.' by Lee Kit contemporary artwork
Lee Kit'You drive me crazy.', 2019 Plywood, single-channel video
TKG+
Untitled (Window) by Lee Kit contemporary artwork
Lee KitUntitled (Window), 2019 Single-channel video
TKG+
Mediocre by Lee Kit contemporary artwork
Lee KitMediocre, 2019 Plywood, single-channel video
TKG+
We, the pathetic. by Lee Kit contemporary artwork
Lee KitWe, the pathetic., 2019 Acrylic, emulsion paint, inkjet ink and pencil on canvas
47 x 55 cm
TKG+
To hate you as I like by Lee Kit contemporary artwork
Lee KitTo hate you as I like, 2019 Single-channel video
TKG+

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Show, Café do Brasil at Para Site, Hong Kong
Open Now
13 September–24 November 2019 Group Show Café do Brasil Para Site, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Lee Kit, Techno at TKG+, Taipei
Closed
11 May–7 July 2019 Lee Kit Techno TKG+, TKG+, Taipei
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, The ShugoArts Show at ShugoArts, Tokyo
Closed
16 February–6 April 2019 Group Exhibition The ShugoArts Show ShugoArts, Tokyo

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

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Art Jakarta Drops Anchor in a Stormy Southeast Asian Art Market Ocula Report Art Jakarta Drops Anchor in a Stormy Southeast Asian Art Market 6 Sep 2019 : Sam Gaskin for Ocula

Jakarta may be sinking, prompting the announcement last month that Indonesia will create a new capital on the island of Borneo, but the city's longest-running art fair is on the rise. Founded by the license holder of Harper's Bazaar Indonesia, the fair began as Bazaar Art Jakarta in 2008. While it's still owned by the same holding company, MRA...

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Lee Kit Ocula Conversation Lee Kit Artist

Lee Kit creates meditative installations—or 'situations', as the artist frequently calls them—by bringing together intangible elements, such as light and sound, with painting, moving image, and readymade objects. These situations often comprise paintings upon which light is cast from a projector, creating a visual experience more...

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The Art You Missed During Art Basel in Hong Kong Ocula Report The Art You Missed During Art Basel in Hong Kong 24 Mar 2015 : Sam Gaskin for Ocula

One local gallery manager described it as constipation: Hong Kong holds in its art activities all year before forcing everything out in the week that Art Basel comes to town. The fair alone is like a system of intestines: unraveled, the paths visitors have to walk to see all the works would stretch for kilometers. There is also a huge amount of...

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Lee Kit Ocula Conversation Lee Kit Artist, China

The Lee Kit exhibition, You., shown recently the Cattle Depot Artist Village in Hong Kong, was an expanded adaptation of his solo presentation for Hong Kong at the 55th Venice Biennale. The Venice presentation, entitled You (you)., received international critical acclaim and Lee was touted by the Wall Street Journal as ‘one of the five...

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In Related Press

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The Enormous Space Related Press The Enormous Space ArtAsiaPacific : 1 March 2018

In 1989, British author JG Ballard published The Enormous Space, a short story about Gerald Ballantyne, a man who withdraws from the world and fortifies himself in his abode, not due to agoraphobia but to 'experiment' with reducing his immediate environment to nothing but his house, committing what is in effect a slow suicide. OCAT Shenzhen's...

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10 Highlights from the inaugural Kathmandu Triennale 2017 Related Press 10 Highlights from the inaugural Kathmandu Triennale 2017 Art Radar Journal : 10 April 2017

The Kathmandu Triennale is an event developed on the back of past success of the Kathmandu International Art Festival, held in 2009 and 2012. The inaugural edition of Kathmandu Triennale (KT 2017) takes ‘The City’ as a thematic starting point – a catalyst to explore the many socio-cultural and political issues embedded in urban settings. Francis...

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Lee Kit at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Related Press Lee Kit at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Art in America : 11 November 2016

“Who sees me naked, and who spends time alone with me in the bathroom? Johnson & Johnson. Nivea.” This is how Lee Kit, Hong Kong’s representative at the 2013 Venice Biennale, discusses the personal hygiene product logos in the paintings that unassumingly populated his Walker exhibition, Hold your breath, dance slowly: as...

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Introducing the Apollo 40 under 40 Asia Pacific Related Press Introducing the Apollo 40 under 40 Asia Pacific Apollo : 1 September 2016

Who are the people under 40 making waves in the art world? That was the question we asked ourselves in 2014, when we launched the first Apollo 40 Under 40. That year’s list, which focused on Europe, and the subsequent 40 Under 40 USA, weren’t meant as power lists but as surveys of talent: of young people who have firmly established...

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