London | Beijing

installation view, Art Basel Hong Kong

Art Basel Hong Kong 2024

Tree of Malevolence
Lee Kai Chung, solo  
Booth 1C46, Discoveries
Lee Kai-chung, Tree of Malevolence, sextuple-channel video installation(Super 8 film transferred to digital, colour, sound), 34 min, 2024

Tabula Rasa Gallery (Beijing | London) presents the artist Lee Kai-chung’s solo booth (1C46) at the discoveries section in Art Basel Hong Kong 2024. 

Inspired by human intelligence life stories during the Cold War, Tree of Malevolence is a research-based project that unveils the complexity of human nature and individual agency under collectivism. Intertwined and yet anachronic, the narrative unfolds how ideas crystallised into ideologies, and collective banality resulted in affective and mental disorientation.

An enigmatic narrator, Y, mumbles to herself in the shadows of a multi-channel video installation, conjuring up six incidents that have been purposefully moulded into unrelated events. The fragmented, chronologically disjointed narrative centres around six historical events that took place between the 1940s and 1960s – Y, who worked under her master in the ‘Radio Communications Section’, was assigned to work between Guangdong and Hong Kong, and also travelled by plane on business trips. Y was in charge of the first urban greening project in China’s history, the square directly in front of the newly constructed entrance gate to the Canton Trade Fair. The fair is a rare opportunity to open the door to the world. Amidst the chattering of traders from Hong Kong, Macau and foreign countries, Y stayed alert for the intel from the north, which could create a butterfly effect in the political and diplomatic scene in the south. Y witnessed people thinking that they were keeping up with the times, and nobody cared about those who were left behind. She changed her name, conspired with people with swinging political stances, and worked alongside nameless comrades who could be friends or foes.

The project unearths individuals dissolved in the reclamation of unfulfilled promises through personal testimony, interviews, creative writing and archival records. Tree of Malevolence is a prelude to its mother project The Cold Mountain (2021-).

Tree of Malevolence: The aesthetics of geopolitical space, fragmented narratives, and the phantom
by Yining He

ABHK Conversation
The Artist Lee Kai-chung will also participate the Art Basel Hong Kong Conversation, information as following:

The Old-New Cold War: Art and the Intimate Geopolitics of International Memory
Friday, 29 March
Auditorium, N101B, Level 1, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

Lee Kai-chung, artist, Tabula Rasa
Ming Wong, artist, Ota Fine Arts
Pu Yingwei, artist, Hive Contemporary
Moderated by Kathleen Ditzig, Curator, National Gallery Singapore

About the artist:
Lee Kai-chung is a research-based artist who performs artistic research about people and their affect dissolved in history and ideologies. From his early explorations of archival systems for historiography, Lee has developed an archival methodology that extends to interdisciplinary research-based creative practices, including critical fabulation, publishing, archives-making and public engagement. In 2017, Lee initiated a hexalogy of consecutive projects under the theme of Displacement–expanding the perception of the notion to affective, anachronic, transgenerational and geopolitical aspects of human conditions entangled in the problematics of Eurasia.

Lee was awarded Honourable Mention in Sharjah Biennial 15 and Taoyuan International Art Award respectively in 2023; The Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography from Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of Harvard University in 2022, he received Altius Fellowship from Asian Cultural Council in 2020 and the annual Award for Young Artist (Visual Arts) from Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 2018. Lee’s works are in the collection of M+ museum in Hong Kong and Sharjah Foundation.

Tabula Rasa Gallery (London)
Unit One, 99 East Road,
Hoxton, London
N1 6AQ
Tuesday - Saturday 12:00 - 18:00 | Sunday - Monday Closed

© 2022 Tabula Rasa Gallery

Tabula Rasa Gallery  (London)