Born Hong Kong, 1978, lives and works in Taipei
Lee Kit is considered as one of the most thoughtful aestheticians currently practicing anywhere in the world. His enigmatic sculptural installations work directly with architectural space, ambient light and shade, and the interplay between empathetic song lyrics and texts, creating poignant spaces rooted in mundane reality. Indicatively combining projections and audio with the everyday objects, which, pared away from their conventional purpose, create subtle environments in which the viewer is encouraged to look attentively and think unhurriedly. Apparently carefree, perhaps even seeming improvised to the unfamiliar viewer, each object, colour, and their attendant thoughts, are placed and counterpointed with absolute precision. Even time – or more particularly; the purposeless stepping aside from a functional use of it (wasting it) – becomes a conspiratorial, political strategy targeted against ‘efficiency’. With a finely attuned parity of aesthetics and practicality: projectors are placed atop unfussy supports, conventional plastic storage containers, boxes, directly on the floor or other fundamental solutions, in order to angle the throw of light onto layers of objects or cardboard paintings. Rather than acting as a static façade, Lee Kit’s paintings operate against his formal training – another political gesture – by facilitating, or contributing to the illusion of his minimalist assemblages. The inconsequential, overlooked and disregarded fragments from daily life, holes worn in table tops, door mats, hooks, cupboards, light fixtures are transformed into tangible visual poems, transforming the unremarkable into works that speak of our shared experience and implying the (im)possibility of intimacy in a globalised society.
Lee Kit represented Hong Kong at the 55th Venice Biennale, with ‘You (you).’ (2013). Since then he has exhibited extensively, most recently in April 2021 at Oi! Hong Kong in Today is the Past of Tomorrow, a two-person exhibition with Kingsley Ng. Notable solo exhibitions include: Resonance of a sad smile, Artsonje Center, Seoul (2019); We used to be more sensitive., Hara Museum, Tokyo (2018); ; Linger on, your lit-up shade, Casa Masaccio Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, Tuscany (2018); I didn’t know that I was dead, OCAT, Shenzhen (2018); A small sound in your head, S.M.A.K., Ghent (2016); Hold your breath, dance slowly, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2016). ). In 2019, he particpated in the 15th Lyon Biennale Làoùles eaux se mêlent, Where Water comes Together with Other Water and To Make Wrong / Right / Now, the 2nd Honolulu Biennial. Other notable group exhibitions include: Rehearsal, Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (2018) All watched over by machines of loving grace, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2017); Generosity, The Art of Giving, National Gallery in Prague (2016); Hugo Boss Asia Art, Rockbund Museum, Shanghai (2013); The Ungovernables, New Museum, New York (2012); Print/Out, MoMA, New York (2012); No Soul For Sale, Tate Modern, London (2010). Lee Kit installed his first solo, site-made exhibition, Please wait, for mother’s tankstation, Dublin, in 2015; and in November 2018, installed his second solo exhibition, Banal, in the Dublin gallery.