"Chem", print on canvas on aluminium stretcher, approx 170 x 114 cm
L.A. Galerie - Lothar Albrecht, Frankfurt is happy to show the latest series by
Ken Lum: Rorschach - Shopkeeper Series
26 October - 31 December 2007
Based on his earlier Shopkeeper Series - signs in which a permanent half of a petit-bourgeois commercial sign is juxtaposed with a provisional message in temporary and movable lettering - Lum here references the identity-constituting "conflict between instrumentality and desire, as crystallized in the message and visual presence of the signs." Facing cultural and political assimilation, "the individual is confronted with his emotional functioning within the sign system of capitalist logic," according to Lum. Considering this conflict part of the process of the individual's emancipation and his quest for autonomy, the shop-sign itself becomes the symbol and scene of this process. By transforming the signs into the image of a psychoanalytic method, the artist subjects the sign itself to a psychoanalytic interrogation: its identity is defined as split, as evident in the visually disjunctive and mirrored structure. "Bonivino," "Action Lock," "Cambie Plumbing" or "Handy Appliance" become epitomes of self-encounter and self-definition. (This text is a summary of a review by Martina Koppel-Yang and an interview between her and Ken Lum in June 2007)
Canada-based Ken Lum has developed a large and complex body of work of great critical relevance, including photography, photographic portrait-logos, language paintings, and mirror works. His œuvre focuses on the notion of identity, on its construction, space and politics. Lum has participated in many important international art exhibitions including the Documenta XI (2002), the Shanghai Biennial (2000), the Sydney Biennial, Carnegie International, the Sao Paulo Biennial, the Venice Biennial and the Johannesburg Biennial. He is also an active writer and founding editor of Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art. He further curated major exhibitions, both historical and contemporary: the 2004 NorthWest Annual exhibition held at the Center of Contemporary Art in Seattle, Shanghai Modern: 1919 - 1945 for the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich, co-curator of Sharjah Biennial 7, held in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, the Dubai Biennial.
Ken Lum: Rorschach - Shopkeeper Series Press Release as pdf-File 574 KB