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Major Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibition Celebrates the Career of Ken Lum
Ken Lum, Red Circle, 1986, fabric, wood. Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Acquisition Fund. Photo: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery.

VANCOUVER.- The Vancouver Art Gallery presents the first large-scale solo survey of the work of internationally renowned Vancouver artist Ken Lum. The exhibition features more than 50 works spanning Lum’s 30-year career, including a number of works not previously exhibited in North America: Mirror Maze with 12 Signs of Depression; House of Realization; and his recent Rorschach Shopkeeper Signs.

Over the past three decades, Lum has developed a complex body of work which includes sculpture, painting, photography and other art forms. This exhibition is a comprehensive exploration of that art, from his early performance work Entertainment for Surrey, to his acclaimed Portrait-Repeated Text series, to his more recent mirror-based installations.

“We’re very honoured to present this comprehensive exhibition of Ken Lum’s work,” said Vancouver Art Gallery director Kathleen Bartels, “Ken is, deservedly, one of Canada’s most celebrated artists and this is an outstanding opportunity to see the vast and complex corpus of his work ever brought together in one exhibition.”

Noted for its critical relevance, ironic humour and emphasis on the commonplace, Lum’s art investigates questions of identity and public/private space. His upbringing in East Vancouver, a place of overlapping cultural values, forms the basis for much of his work. Subverting the visual tropes of mass media – such as signs, billboards and logos – Lum reveals the tensions and contradictions that characterize life in an increasingly globalized world.

Lum’s work has been exhibited throughout North America, Europe and Asia, and presented in important international forums such as Documenta and the Carnegie International, as well as in Biennales in Shanghai, Gwangju, Liverpool, Istanbul, Sao Paolo and Venice.

Ken Lum is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art.

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