Lee Kit: Watching Soaps (I can't recall the day that I last heard from you)

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 February, 2011, 12:00am

Lee Kit: Watching Soaps (I can't recall the day that I last heard from you)
Osage Kwun Tong
Until Feb 21

Using memory, nostalgia and intelligent use of language, conceptual artist Lee Kit's work is thoughtfully poignant rather than intentionally obscure.

His latest solo outing at Osage Kwun Tong features, among other things, a framed photograph of his first outdoor picnic performance in 2003, when he hosted two artist friends on one of his now-archetypal hand-painted striped cloths. The image depicts an outstretched hand, food and drink and the picnic cloth itself, and sets the metaphorical tone of the exhibition.

In the surrounding gallery, a series of minimalist paintings and actual cloths both reprise these picnic performances and depict hazy childhood memories of everyday products used to nurture the growing artist: moisturising cream, bandages and food items.

In a separate room audiences can relax and be entertained in a home theatre. In one of a series of short vignettes, the video's 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 passes.

The film is silent, but the subtitled 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 mysteriously spoken by the passing couple or by the person sitting on the grass or the artist.

Nearby, another painted, outstretched hand is alongside text stating 'Lasting Care', '24 Hour Moisturising' and 'LIVE WELL'. It could be a reference to Manet's Le Dejeuner sur l'Herbe (Luncheon on the Grass) or simply be the artist exploring leisure as art, but Lee's moody introspection makes Watching Soaps a powerful exhibition with a universality for anyone needing an outstretched hand to hold.