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Ken Lum

Canadian, b. 1956

258 followers

Ken Lum

Bio

Canadian, b. 1956

Followers
258
Biography

Well known for his series of works that mimic strip-mall signage, bearing generic business names such as Beijing Wok or Ebony Eyes Beauty Salon, Ken Lum explores how identities are subsumed into larger political or cultural structures, in a genre-spanning practice. His signs reveal Lum’s longstanding engagement with the people and iconography of his native Vancouver, but these are not mere acts of appropriation. Instead they look at the ways such images contribute to constructions of identity, discarding cultural complexity and nuance. Lum has said, “We live in a world in which symbols conflate into signs. And symbols normally should be a lot deeper. There's a kind of confusion between surface and depth.” He has also produced performance works, sculpture, and paintings.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Top emerging
Emerging representation
Represented by up-and-coming galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta, and 3 more
Biography

Well known for his series of works that mimic strip-mall signage, bearing generic business names such as Beijing Wok or Ebony Eyes Beauty Salon, Ken Lum explores how identities are subsumed into larger political or cultural structures, in a genre-spanning practice. His signs reveal Lum’s longstanding engagement with the people and iconography of his native Vancouver, but these are not mere acts of appropriation. Instead they look at the ways such images contribute to constructions of identity, discarding cultural complexity and nuance. Lum has said, “We live in a world in which symbols conflate into signs. And symbols normally should be a lot deeper. There's a kind of confusion between surface and depth.” He has also produced performance works, sculpture, and paintings.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Top emerging
Emerging representation
Represented by up-and-coming galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta, and 3 more
Articles Featuring Ken Lum
How the Glitz and Excess of the 1980s Shaped Contemporary Art
Feb 21st, 2018
How the Glitz and Excess of the 1980s Shaped Contemporary Art
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