Lee Kit: Never

Lee Kit: Never

Concept: Kim Beirnaert, Lee Kit, Martin Germann
Texts: Hu Fang, etc.
Publisher: Koenig Books Ltd
ISBN: 9783863359478
Language: English
Size: 14×21.5cm
Page: 280
Year: 2016






The point of departure for Lee Kit’s third monograph is rather curious. After an initial meeting with the Taipei-based and Hong Kong-born artist, the graphic designer presented us with a book she had found in her attic: an old Flemish cookbook for women (sic) published in 1981 by a catholic worker’s federation. It serves as blueprint for the size, thickness and weight of this volume. Its title Koken voor elke dag (Everyday cooking) which draws a pragmatic reference to daily rituals, mundane yet universalseemed an appropriate template, also considering the fact that the idea of template is central to the artist’s way thinking. This notwithstanding that the book was published in a context of a welfare state in the former Westa place which not only perished in time, but also geographically, in favor of another place full of fragmentary visual resonances and echoes, which Lee Kit’s art work continuously seems to embody. Similarly, the “situations,” as the artist calls his installation-based exhibitions, are incredibly difficult to capture in photographs (which brings artists such as Robert Ryman or Raoul De Keyser to mind, both painters with unphotographable works) it seems almost impossible to translate Kit’s spatial thinking into a book.


When the designer asked Lee Kit what he expected from this book, he replied: “I’d prefer you to make a book you’d love to have yourself.” The artist handed over his control; what you see here is a practice as seen through the eyes of someone else. This is paradigmatic for Lee Kit’s approach, which bridges the gap between the artist’s creation of an autonomous and opaque room of his own and the opportunity for others to delve inside. Our book is light and as readable as a novel, and ends with a long photographic sequence composed from the imagery which Lee Kit initially sent us: 600 megabytes of photographs, short films, daily clips, horizontally sorted, lacking any tags with dates or further information. The designer’s work consisted in bringing her own order into this, crossing her own room of fragmented memories with Lee Kit’sinto a speculative third space, which the book’s visual sequence quintessentially represents. So it seems only logical that the book is published on occasion of two exhibitions, which developed in the artist’s mind as one show in two places: Lee Kit’s exhibition at the Walker Art Center, titled Hold your breath, dance slowly and his presentation at S.M.A.K. titled A small sound in your head.


Excerpts from the preface of Lee Kit: Never, by Martin Germann



Image and Text: the shop, ©Authors, the shop, 2019


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