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/ Exhibitions / Untitled (Artspeak?): Kang Seung Lee

Untitled (Artspeak?): Kang Seung Lee

September 2, 2016 – December 23, 2016(This exhibition has passed.)

Kang Seung Lee is a multidisciplinary artist who was born in South Korea and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Kang has had solo and group exhibitions at Pitzer College Art Galleries, Pitzer College (CA), Commonwealth and Council (Los Angeles), Centro Cultural Border (Mexico City), the Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNCG (NC), SOMArts (San Francisco), Raymond Gallery at Art Center College of Design (CA) among others, and upcoming solo exhibitions include COVERS at Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (Los Angeles, CA), Untitled(Artspeak?) Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (NC) and Artpace (San Antonio, TX). His catalogue Untitled(Artspeak?) was recently published by Pitzer College Art Galleries. Kang received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.

The project is represented by the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles.

Untitled (Artspeak?) in the Mayer Gallery

Untitled (Artspeak?) in the Mayer Gallery

Artist statement

My work explores the possibilities of creating critical/queer history by researching, excavating, and appropriating images and texts from various public and private archives such as art collections, publications, libraries, etc. This process places emphasis on marginalized individual experiences and personal histories that disturb structure and order of the traditional archive and challenge the singular mainstream knowledge, which is often biased, narrow and colonial. Primarily presented in labor-intensive mediums (tracing, graphite and colored pencil drawings, embroidery, and collecting), my work speaks about the potential to intervene ordered systems and manifest in the form of visual marks, traces and index.

Untitled (Artspeak?) came from a desire to create a critical/queer history of art. The book Artspeak has been widely used in art education because it contains popular/general knowledge about art and world history. However, while the book tries to establish connections between art history and general world history, it also reveals the biased—first world, white male and monumental artists oriented—timeline of history making. In order to challenge this narrow, and often colonial perspective, I invited a number of collaborators with very diverse backgrounds (female, black, queer, immigrant, etc.) and asked them to “edit” one page of the timeline section of the book. The connection each of them has with their page is the year of their birth, which puts them in the role of historian as they include and exclude certain events, art works, music, books, images, personal histories from each of the years. The results are poster-sized drawings (made by me, edited by them) that become portraits of the collaborators, and that speak about margins, interpretation, rewriting, labor, etc.

– Kang Seung Lee

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