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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Lee’

The Problem of Asia: Para/Site art exhibition explores Asian identity in Sydney

Posted by artradar on May 5, 2010


Ai Weiwei Beijing: The Second Ring, 2005. Video. January 14 – February 11, 2005. 1 h 6 m

The Problem of Asia, an exhibition presented 30 April – 22 May, 2010 at Chalk Horse Sydney in partnership with Hong Kong’s Para/Site Art Space, deals with an array of issues, not all of which are politically correct.

The exhibition considers how Asia is perceived and constructed, both from within and outside, and the contemporary challenges being presented to societies in general.

The exhibition is proposed as a catalytic, discursive device, activated through the artists that are part of the first installment of this improvised project. The show’s narratives address themes of growth, corruption, memory, history, language, colonialism and freedom.

This project is conceived as a work-in-progress, and is open to other additions and network plug-ins.

Australia is a unique location to launch this exhibition, as its multilayered relationship with the idea of Asia provides a provocative cultural framework.

Curated by Para/Site’s Executive Director and Curator Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya, contributing artists include:

Ai Weiwei –      Luke Ching Chin-wai     Huang Xiaopeng     Michael Lee      Leung Chi Wo     Dinu Li      Tintin Wulia

Ai Weiwei’s videos document Beijing ring roads, focusing on the ‘process of pure observation and the nature of time…and the urban reality that defines Beijing’.

Urban reality versus urban utopia is explained through Michael Lee’s Spiral Supermart, a new project from the series Second-Hand City, where rubbles of collapsed buildings arrive at a futuristic factory in China to be analyzed, resurrected and displayed for resale.

Luke Ching Chin-wai and Huang Xiaopeng focus on language, although their research leads them through different concerns from translation software to impromptu Cantonese lessons for Japanese residents.

Dinu Li addresses the problem of Asia with a more direct strategy, through a video performance denouncing corruption, put in context with the inclusion of archival images from Chinese propaganda films.

Leung Chi Wo enacts a new performance based on his My Name is Victoria series, which encompasses references to the colonial past of Hong Kong.

Tintin Wulia’s installation is a research on the notions of nationality/nation/border through the relationship between citizenship, mobility, and political power, and between territory, mapping and cartography.


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Posted in Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya, Art spaces, Asian, Australia, Chinese, Gallery shows, Hong Kong Artists, Identity art, Installation, Nonprofit | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Korean Canadian artist Tim Lee takes Canada’s premier art award – Globe and Mail

Posted by artradar on October 9, 2008


The Sobey Art Award is Canada’s leading visual-art prize and its aim is to throw a spotlight every year on the work of one of this country’s most promising emerging artists. So when the announcement was made in the Royal Ontario Museum’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal in Toronto last Wednesday night that this year’s prize money ($50,000) has gone to the Vancouver artist Tim Lee, the moment held a subtle irony. As emerging artists go, you’d have to say Tim Lee is about as emerged as they come. Making work in the large-format Cibachrome photo medium of the international A-list (he also makes video and sculpture), Lee has already leapfrogged over the Canadian gallery system to find representation in the leading commercial galleries of the United States and Europe (Cohan & Leslie in New York, Johnen + Schottle in Cologne and Lisson Gallery in London). The 32-year-old is one of Canada’s most internationally acclaimed rising stars, his talents developed in a local art scene that some outsiders see as insufferably self-valorizing and others see as admirably supportive and nurturing. (The truth lies halfway between the two.) Following in the traditions of his hometown elders Jeff Wall, Ken Lum (who taught Lee at the University of British Columbia), Rodney Graham, Stan Douglas and Ian Wallace, his art is deeply rooted in the conceptual-art tradition of the seventies, but freshly minted with his own inquisitive and eccentric wit.

Competition for the award was stiff, with other contenders including the brilliant Winnipeg artist Daniel Barrow, who enthralled his Toronto audience last Tuesday afternoon with a performance titled Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry, involving his live narration and a sequence of multi-part cartoon drawings illuminated by an overhead projector. (The story involved the artist’s fictitious account of his childhood days, a complex meditation on vision, loneliness and personal identity.) As well, Lee was up against the New York-based Canadian Terence Koh (a.k.a. asianpunkboy), whose stylish white-on-white installations and bad-boy posturing have made him a darling of the international art press.

Sitting down to talk just moments after the announcement, Lee was still carrying the champagne bottle that someone had given him and looking a little startled. Notwithstanding his many successes, he has the quiet, slightly introverted air of a scholar pulled involuntarily from the stacks of a library to blink in the spotlight.

Fear of a Black Planet Public Enemy

Fear of a Black Planet Public Enemy




I had a few practical questions about the work in the gallery upstairs, where the ROM is showcasing works by Lee and the other shortlisted candidates. One of his large two-part photographic works from 2006, titled Untitled (Neil Young, 1969) is a self-portrait of Lee playing an electric guitar, his slope-shouldered pose echoing Young’s trademark stance. Lee’s body, though, is pictorially segmented into its upper and lower parts, which are framed separately. Close inspection reveals that the grey band running vertically up the left side in the two shots is actually a concrete floor, snaked over with electrical cords. Correct for this and look at the pictures sideways, though, and Lee’s body is now hovering parallel to this floor.

Did he use digital manipulation to produce this gravity-defying effect? No, he explains, he shot the work in two parts, so that the upper and lower parts of his body, respectively, could be supported off-camera. It’s a photograph that lies, suggesting the simultaneity of one take when, in fact, it’s the product of two.

This approach to photography – taking an instrument assumed to be truth telling and making it bend reality – is of a piece with Lee’s Vancouver roots, whether one thinks of Jeff Wall’s digital manipulations for his giant backlit Cibachromes or Rodney Graham’s flamboyant looping narratives and sly simulations of historic materials.

Lee’s work will be featured at the upcoming Biennale of Sydney, Australia; in a fall 2008 solo exhibition at the Hayward gallery in London UK; and a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, Texas. Tim Lee is represented by Cohan and Leslie Gallery in New York, NY; the Lisson Gallery in London, UK; and Johnen & Schöttle, in Cologne.

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Posted in Canada, Emerging artists, Human Body, Korean, New Media, Photography, Prizes, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »