b.1982, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; lives and works in London.
Lawrence Lek is a filmmaker, musician and artist based in London. He is recognized for a conceptually rigorous practice in which he explores the myth of technological progress in an age of artificial intelligence. Drawing from traditions of assemblage across architecture, cinema and sound, Lek employs vernacular media, including video games, electronic music, essay films and digital animation, to develop interconnected worlds that interrogate concepts of AI, its capacity for consciousness and the emergence of nonhuman identity. He is perhaps best known for his ongoing series of films, soundtracks and experimental video games, set within a Sinofuturist universe. His works include the films AIDOL, Geomancer, Sinofuturism (1839–2046 AD), the open-world video games 2065, Nepenthe, and Unreal Estate (The Royal Academy is Yours), and Nøtel, an audio-visual collaboration with musician Kode9. His work is exhibited in what the artist describes as ‘site-specific simulation’: a unified spatial environment of media and architecture, composed in such a way that the virtual realm and physical space hold equal weight.
Lawrence Lek studied at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, the Architectural Association, London, and The Cooper Union, New York. Lek recently graduated with a PhD from the Royal College of Art in London. He has exhibited internationally with recent solo exhibitions, including Nepenthe (Summer Palace Ruins), QUAD, Derby (2022); Post-Sinofuturism, ZiWU the Bund, Shanghai (2022); Ghostwriter, Center for Contemporary Arts Prague, Prague (2019); Farsight Freeport, HeK House of Electronic Arts Basel, Basel (2019); Nøtel, Urbane Künste Ruhr, Essen (2019); AIDOL 爱道, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2019); Nøtel, Stroom Den Haag, The Hague (2018); 2065, K11 Art Space, Hong Kong (2018); Play Station, Art Night, London (2017). His work has also featured internationally in numerous group shows, biennales and film festivals including 5th Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi (2022); Leeum Museum of Art, Seoul (2022); Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2022); donaufestival, Krems (2021); IFFR International Film Festival Rotterdam (2020 and 2018); 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice (2021); Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco | de Young Legion of Honor, San Francisco (2020); CCCB Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Barcelona (2019); Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2019); Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2019); MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (2018); The 6th Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition 2018, Taipei (2018); Arsenale Nord, Venice (2017); UCCA, Beijing (2017); Jerwood/FVU Awards, London (2017); Glasgow International, Tramway, Glasgow (2016); Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul (2016); Missed Connections, Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf (2016), among others. Lek has been recognized with the 2017 Jerwood/FVU Award and the 2015 Dazed Emerging Artist Award. In 2021 he was the recipient of both the 4th VH Award Grand Prix and the LACMA 2021 Art + Technology Lab Grant.
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