Lombard Freid Projects is thrilled to introduce the work of Hong Kong based artist Lee Kit in his first US solo show.
Some thoughts on ‘1, 2, 3, 4…’ exhibition in Lee Kit’s own words:
1, 2, 3, 4… I imagine someone is wandering in a room, or on the street, counting objects around him, or counting his steps, or counting the days. It’s like something repeating in his mind, like someone’s name, but actually he is just contemplating everything around to get used to living in a city. Like sometimes you can only gaze at somebody who you love or hate. Sometimes I wonder how long can these moments last. But even this question repeats again and again, so it really doesn’t matter.
Four different series of works will be shown to reveal some kind of daily practices. Hand-painted cloth with simple geometric patterns or songs lyrics, cardboard paintings and objects with drawings used as stickers and applied on their surfaces, all of these ‘objects’ in a specific setting create an environment where people can sit down or walk around and look at them hanging on the wall or sitting on the floor. People can even have a cup of tea in the gallery. It’s kind of like distancing oneself from the outside world, like the way I live in my studio in HK – contemplating these ‘objects’ and everything else around me.
Conceptually all the works are about some kind of meaningless things, activities and obsessions. All my works evolve around some repetitive practice: hand-painted patterns or song lyrics on fabrics, drawing/painting brand’s logos onto cardboard pieces or applying the hand-made logos back on the containers (boxes, bottles…) from which they were once removed - a recycling process of ideas that never ends. All these practices are basically about something inexplicable, not exploration but more like revelation – reveal something that I am obsessed with, not fetish but more like indulgence.
To me, the beginning of the hand-painted cloth series was a way to convey the faint consciousness resulted from emotions. To use them in different daily occasions means to conceal the subtle sentiments and bring the works into a public sphere. Later on, the hand-painted cloth with lyrics represented a revelation of a city life through lyrics from old love songs and indie songs. People living in a city are brainwashed by these songs to the point of forgetting them. The lyrics, out of their original context, reveal something different. (e.g. ‘I wake up in the morning then I wonder, why everything is the same as it was.’ The End of the World, Skeeter Davis.) What if these lyrics appear in a laborer’s mind every morning when he wakes up? For this show I made window curtains on which I painted ‘We try and try, even if it last an hour.’, lyrics from a love song Our Way To Fall from Yo La Tengo. What does these lyrics mean to people who live and work in a city?
It becomes bittersweet.
The cardboard paintings are actually starting from my obsession with the skincare products. I don’t use them but I like to collect them and look at them, in particular Nivea and Johnson’s. I always associate them to somebody, or sometimes the product’s name repeats in my mind like I am missing someone. From the beginning it is intuitive, just about some fleeting emotions. This time the works at Lombard Freid start to connect some subtle, evasive emotional states, like neither happiness nor sadness, the feeling of touching someone, the feeling of waking up in the middle of a deep sleep. Another recent work, ‘stickers on containers’, is an extension from the cardboard paintings. With similar image-transfer technique, the ‘drawings’ become the stickers that get transferred back to some containers.
They become objects again and can be put anywhere. I imagine they are like all the objects around us - though a bit different – one could find them on the table or floor, just being there, quietly present.
(If this will be an artist statement, I would like to use the following two lyrics to end it) ‘A perfect ending for a perfect day.’ Sunday, Sonic Youth ‘I can’t recall the day that I last heard from you.’ Run, New Order