Lee Kit to represent Hong Kong at the 55th International Art Exhibition of the 2013 Venice Biennale

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Lee Kit to represent Hong Kong at the 55th International Art Exhibition of the 2013 Venice Biennale
Lee Kit, Sunday Afternoon: Picnic with friends and hand-painted cloth at Yun Shu O, Sai Kung, HK 2012. Acrylic on fabric, photo document. Dimensions variable.

HONG KONG.- The Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) and M+, Hong Kong’s future museum for 20th and 21st century visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District, announced today, Friday 22 June 2012, the selection of Lee Kit as the artist to represent Hong Kong at the 55th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, opening on 11 June 2013. Lars Nittve, world-renowned curator and Executive Director of M+, is the Lead Curator of the pavilion.

Commenting on the selection of Lee Kit, Lars Nittve said: “Lee Kit is to me one of the leading artists in Hong Kong’s thriving contemporary art scene. I have during my years here been repeatedly touched by how Lee Kit so seemingly effortlessly manages to mix a deep understanding of contemporary art with something very personal and intimate. His work is at the same time uncompromising and extraordinarily open for participation, intimate and at the same time public. It truly embodies the fundamental and wonderful uncertainty at the heart of all good art – while bringing together western and ancient Asian cultural traditions. Last, but not the least, I am totally confident that Lee Kit has the capacity to make the best out of the perfectly located, but far from easy, exhibition venue that Hong Kong has in Venice!”

Lee Kit was born in Hong Kong in 1978 and during his studies (2001-2006) at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, was already selected for a solo exhibition ‘Painting Furniture’ in Fo Tan. Despite working in many media – painting, video, sculpture, installations and performance-like situations – his works are highly recognisable, often using a subtle pastel colour palette and reflecting on aspects of daily life. Recent solo exhibitions include: ‘Something in my hands’ in Aike-Dellarco Gallery at ART HK 12 where he won the ART FUTURES prize (2012); ‘How to set up a room for Johnny’ in Osage Gallery as the first Hong Kong artist in Art Statements at Art Basel (2011); and ‘Henry’ at Western Front, Vancouver (2011). He has participated in group exhibitions across the world including in leading museums, such as Tate Modern in ‘No soul for sale’ (2010), The Museum of Modern Art, New York in ‘Print/Out’ (2012) and The New Museum, New York in ‘The Ungovernables’ (2012).

This marks the first time the HKADC has collaborated with M+ in presenting the works of a Hong Kong artist at the Venice Biennale – one of the world’s most important art events. This year’s choice to co-present and select comes from the HKADC adopting a model successfully used in many other participating countries, where an esteemed local arts body or institution is given the responsibility to select the curator and the artist to represent Hong Kong at the Biennale.

Presiding at today's press conference, Mr Chow Yung-ping, Chief Executive of the HKADC, said, "Through the collaboration, we aim to provide the best environment for our artists to showcase their creativity and talents and to achieve the best exhibition and marketing outcome for Hong Kong's presence at Venice."

"M+ will provide expertise in the selection of the artist as well as curating and organising the exhibition, while the HKADC will share its ample experience on project management", Mr Chow added. The HKADC has taken part in the Venice Biennale since 2001 and the past six editions have succeeded in attracting nearly 400,000 visitors.

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