“Sometimes we just need a moment that lasts as if it will never end. For instance, a moment on a train without looking at a mobile phone. We can hear our own muted voice. This lasting moment is usually a quiet one, surrounded by different noises and nonsense. A moment we can hardly pursue. A quiet operating blender. An unknown sound you can barely hear in a meeting.
At this moment, we don’t talk about love or ideas. Memories flee and things become clear. (Don’t believe in those scenes in the movies. After all, it is not a moving moment.) We don’t talk about it. And suddenly, we find it clear that we know what’s most important in a life – it can be something, someone, or how to eliminate someone. Perhaps, things go right and go wrong in this lasting moment.
Somehow, we can’t prove that we have changed since then. A nightmare becomes white, and a sad person is not necessarily unhappy. The happy man an uncanny person. Everything becomes clearer. Then we go on, in a slightly different way.
‘And the sky is blue, but not for me and you.’” - Lee Kit
Jane Lombard Gallery presents It’s not too quiet a site-specific installation by Lee Kit as part of The Armory Show 2018 Focus section, curated by Gabriel Ritter. Lee creates total environments comprised of paintings, projections and household objects. His installations can be described as poetic meditations on feelings that are subtle and indescribable. Their nebulous quality is based on the play between symbols, images, light, color and touch that evoke subjective memory and significance – an unknown personal connection that bisects the artist’s own perception and intuition – but is ultimately still not understood. The installations are a physical realization of feeling and inherent fragility of experience. Projected images are distorted by space, shadows are cast by objects, paintings, and people; there is a sense of transience and impermanence in the use of bins, cardboard, fabric, and plywood as the foundation of the paintings and installations.
It’s not too quiet alludes to lasting moments, faint instances of clarity and imagination of their aftermath. The works continue to maintain Lee’s reference to English-language products and iconography that reference the global capitalist market surrounding the history of Hong Kong, a city living under the particular socioeconomic and political principle of one country, two systems. The painting’s gloss and attention to surface texture source the visual quality of mid-century ads but also indicate a connection to the gestures and emotions of 17th-century Dutch painting, capturing the dynamic familiarity of the present alongside the blurred emotions and curious meaning of the past.
Lee Kit's exhibitions include Hold your breath, dance slowly, The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MI; A small sound in your head, S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium; You(you)., representing Hong Kong at The 55th Venice Biennale; The Ungovernables, 2012 New Museum Triennial, New York, NY and No Soul For Sale, Tate Modern, London, UK.