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Massimo De Carlo reopens Hong Kong gallery space with exhibition of works by Lee Kit
Lee Kit, The Gazing Eyes Won't Lies. Massimo De Carlo, Hong Kong. May 15 - July 4, 2020. Installation view: Cpak Studio. Courtesy Massimo De Carlo, Milan / London / Hong Kong.

HONG KONG.- Massimo De Carlo is presenting The gazing eyes won’t lie, exceptionally launching simultaneously in Massimo De Carlo Hong Kong and the new Massimo De Carlo Virtual Space, The gazing eyes won’t lie marks the reopening of Massimo De Carlo's Hong Kong gallery, after months of lockdown. This project, conceived by Lee Kit, who was born in Hong Kong, contributes to reactivate the Hong Kong arts community. By happening both in a real space and in a virtual realm, The gazing eyes won’t lie is also an experimentation both on the concept of an exhibition itself and exhibition making during these difficult times when the global world is put on hold.

This exhibition explores the breadth and complexity of discrete moments, combined with an intriguing exposition of both personal and collective emotions. Lee Kit creates meditative installations—or as the artist refers to them, 'situations', through fusing together intangible elements, such as light, sound, painting, moving image, and readymade objects. The gazing eyes won’t lie comprises of a series of miniature paintings and disparate projections to create a multifaceted visual response to discrete and personal moments of extremity.

Containing a multitude of meanings, the exhibition takes the audience through a journey through feelings, both acute and fleeting, amidst an uncertain backdrop. Employing linguistic phrases, imagery and visual elements, taken both from the artist’s immediate vicinity or disparate cultural influences from music, The gazing eyes won’t lie encapsulates a specific airiness and ephemerality that reverberates throughout the show with an emotional intensity.

The journey through Kit’s new series of works develops and enlarges feelings and lived moments from the artists own experience, inexplicably influenced by the tumultuous sociopolitical situation. Blink and blank (2020), an immensely blurry wall projection looped with an aural component of fragmented songs and daily noises, vaguely hint towards something reminiscent of a screensaver. By repeatedly showing the same image collaged with fragments of audio snippets, placing at the forefront a level of disengagement and alienation of the contemporary power of the image, especially when placed in context.

Simultaneously, there is a particular exposition of acute sensitivities inherent in the work, often carrying a contemplative or solemn tone to the imagery that the artist presents, albeit maintaining a level of reticence. Don’t (2020), which depicts a girl practicing a yoga pose with a certain naivete, operates with a level of innocence that can be either perceived as harmless or ominous. In technical terms, Lee’s paintings depict blurred images, obscured by multiple layers of paint. Therefore the end result of the paintings, as seen by the viewer, essentially is an edited fragment - cropped and transfigured, revealing underneath an airy ‘aura’ as if the image itself is fleeting.

The gazing eyes won’t lie explores a delicate intangible quality synonymous with Lee’s work; where precision applied to image construction leaves one to contemplate upon it’s surreality, origin and meaning. In addition, the emphasis on the banal and gestural by the artist almost takes on a redemptive quality, reminding the viewer in these uncertain moments of the most universal and basic reminders of humanity.

Lee Kit (b.1978, Hong Kong); he lives and works in Hong Kong.

Solo exhibitions include: The Gazing Eyes Won’t Lie, Massimo De Carlo Hong Kong & Massimo De Carlo VSpace, (2020), Casa Masaccio, San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy (2018); Hara Museum, Tokyo (2018); Something you can’t leave behind, Massimo De Carlo, Hong Kong (2017); Lee Kit: Hold your breath, dance slowly, Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis (2016); A Small Sound in Your Head, SMAK, Gent (2016); You (you), Hong Kong Pavillion, The 55th Venice Biennale, Venice (2013); Every Breath You Take, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai (2012).

Group exhibitions include: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2017); The City, My Studio / The City, My Life, Kathmandu Triennale (2017); Jing Shen. The Act of Painting in Contemporary China, PAC Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milan (2015); The Great Ephemeral, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2015); Duchamp, UCCA, Beijing (2013); Printin', MoMA Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012); No Soul for Sale, Tate Modern, London (2010).

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