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Lee Kit: Watching Soaps (I can’t recall the day that I last heard from you)
at 4:06pm on 7th March 2011

Lee Kit is a dedicated conceptual artist, but his art has a loose dogma and a humanity that belies any hardness that the conceptual label may imply. Using memory, nostalgia and intelligent use of language, Lee’s work is thoughtfully poignant rather than intentionally obscure. In his Watching Soaps exhibition a modest, framed photograph sits with other photographs on a teak side-table, setting the tone of the exhibition and memorialising Lee Kit’s first outdoor picnic performance in 2003. At the time, he hosted two artist friends on one of his now-archetypal hand painted striped cloths, the photograph depicts an outstretched hand, food and drink and the picnic cloth itself. In the surrounding gallery a series of minimalist paintings and actual cloths both reprise these picnic performances and depict hazy childhood memories of everyday consumer products used to lovingly nurture the growing artist: moisturizing cream, bandages, and food items. In a separate room a home theatre has been set-up for the audience to relax and be entertained. In one of a series of short video vignettes, the possible narrator lies on the grass with a haphazard view of the sky, surrounding trees, grass and people exercising in the distance; a few seconds later a young couple walks by. The film is silent, but the sub-titled dialogue states: “Do you remember I was sitting next to you?” / “I miss those days” / “I don’t remember”. It is a believable story, a denied memory that hurts the heart, but inexplicably spoken either by the passing couple or by the person sitting on the grass or, rhetorically, the artist. Nearby, another painted outstretched hand is alongside text stating “Lasting Care“, “24 Hour Moisturising” and “LIVE WELL”. It could be referencing Manet’s Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass) or simply be the artist exploring leisure as art, but Lee Kit’s moody introspection makes Watching Soaps a powerful exhibition with a universality for anyone needing an outstretched hand to hold. Exhibition: 《Watching Soaps (I can’t recall the day that I last heard from you)》 Date: 22.1. – 21.2.2011 Venue: Osage Kwun Tong Enquiries: 852 2793 4817 Website: A version of this review was published in the “South China Morning Post”, February 2011.

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