HAPPENINGText: Noriko Ishimizu

Born in Hong Kong and based in Taipei artist Lee Kit has his solo exhibition “We used to be more sensitive.” at Hara Museum of Contemporary Art from September 16th to December 24th, 2018. His early work is known for paintings of check patterns, which also can be used as fabrics for tablecloth and curtain. Recently, he focuses on installation composed of paintings, drawings, lighting and images from projector, and furniture with pale colors. He has shown them in several places including Europe, the United States, and Asia. In 2013, his piece of Venetian Biennale Hong Kong building was introduced as 5 Must-See Show on Wall Street Journal.

An accomplished fact of the exhibition at Hara Museum of Contemporary Art known for old private house of Hara family was the artist’s eager request to use the space. When he visited there for Michael Borremans show, its space and building attracted him. Work for this show is his new site-specific installation, which features atmosphere and emotions of each place.

He worked by himself for 10 days until the opening. “I did not start to work at very early time. I rather came here around 11am and left at 6:30.” Besides working on the installation, he walked around the space and tried to grasp the atmosphere.

For this show, many projectors are used. They does not only throw images on the screen, but also they are used as lighting tool. He explains about work at first floor, you can see from the entrance.

“The painting on the wall of this room, I completed and brought from Taipei. There are some paintings in this show that I re-painted, but this is not. Lighting on this painting from the projector corresponds to architecture. However, it was projected from the front for the first time. It looked boring like typical artwork. Then, I lightly kicked the projector. I don’t mean kicking it over, but I just tried to move it a little. So, its angle was changed, looked better, and I liked it more.”

He takes time to contemplate space. He thinks his style as “I collect aspects of how to express things already existing in the air. And, my emotional aspects. When they merge well, I have a moment that I feel like becoming transparent and disappearing. I think this is process to get there.”

© Lee Kit, Courtesy the artist and ShugoArts

There is his video piece, which was used for the main image of the show, in the room of the first floor. The subtitles are poetic texts and those words are his perspective about the current politics. He expresses his own work as “a trigger to make viewers recall something by presenting different perspectives.” What he thinks through own work varies depend on each work. The situation seems representing “individuals are standing on different political position.”

Staying in this room for a while, a relationship between each work such as this video piece and other time-based media becomes apparent. The space is one painting composed of a relation of light reflected on wall and plastic cases, composition of landscapes on paintings, video, and the view from the window, and the use of space, which is similar to Japanese aesthetics of subtraction like rock garden.

© Lee Kit, Courtesy the artist and ShugoArts Photo: Shigeo Muto

On the second floor, the exhibition takes advantage of low ceiling and architectural echoing features. He mentioned about this;

“We have emotions that we don’t speak or can’t even if we want to. Even though we have family and a good life, we still cannot talk the emotion. When we have it, we have a moment that other aspects like riverside and dog bark seems express my emotion instead of ourselves. I wanted this kind of phenomena in this room.”

In this exhibition, natural light from the window covered with translucent screen is an important element. Therefore, his work changes depend on the weather and time. He said about himself as an artist without concept and idea. However, that might well express his modesty, which symbolizes his attitude of enjoying and using as it is. This delicate exhibition cannot be appreciated unless allowing self to be in the space. Please just visit there and face those work snuggling to subtleties of human mind.

*Comments by Lee Kit are quoted from the press conference on 18th September, 2018.

Lee Kit “We used to be more sensitive.”
Date: September 16th – December 24th, 2018
Opening Hours: 11:00 – 17:00(Open until 20:00 on Wednesday, Entry is available 30 minutes before close)
Closse on Monday (Open on December 24th)
Place: Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
Address: 4-7-25 Kita Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81 (0)3 3445 0651
Admission: 1100 yen / Student 700 yen / Kids 500 yen

Text: Noriko Ishimizu
Translation: Hanae Kawai

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