Kang Seung Lee
b. 1978, Seoul, South Korea; lives and works in Los Angeles, U.S.
Kang Seung Lee is a Korean-American multimedia artist who works across video, sculpture, and installation to explore themes of identity, belonging, and memory. Born in Seoul in 1978, Lee lived in various continents before relocating to Los Angeles. His experiences of navigating cultural and linguistic differences have had a significant impact on his artistic practice. His works often incorporate found objects and materials, which he transforms through innovative techniques to create visually striking and thought-provoking installations. His video works, which are characterized by their experimental and poetic approach, explore the complex relationship between personal and political histories. Through his work, Kang Seung Lee challenges viewers to reconsider their own assumptions about identity, belonging, and history, and to imagine new possibilities for connection and understanding. This is particularly evident in the work Kang Seung Lee has done to mine queer archives, excavating, in particular, the histories of artistic figures who lost their lives to AIDs. By revealing and (re)telling their stories the archive’s potential to bring people together across time and place is revealed. Such an approach highlights a utopian vision of community that José Esteban Muñoz deemed ‘queer futurity’.
Recent solo projects include The Heart of A Hand, Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles (2023); Briefly Gorgeous, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul (2021); Queer Arch, Hapjungjigu, Seoul (2019); Garden, One and J. Gallery, Seoul (2018); and untitled (la revolución es la solución!), Artpace, San Antonio (2017). Lee’s work has been included in group exhibitions Strings of Desire, Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles (2023); documenta fifteen (invited by Jatiwangi Art Factory), Kassel (2022); how we are in time and space: Nancy Buchanan, Marcia Hafif, Barbara T. Smith, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA (2022); Soft Water Hard Stone, the 2021 New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York (2021); Minds Rising, Spirits Tuning, the 13th Gwangju Biennale, (2021); Solidarity Spores, Asia Cultural Center, Gwangju (2020); MMCA 2020 Asia Project: Looking for another family, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (2020); No Space Just A Place, Daelim Museum, Seoul (2020); and Reconstitution, LAXART (2017). Forthcoming group shows include Made in LA, Hammer Museum (2023) and Korea Artist Prize Exhibition, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (2023).
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