Carol Lee Mei-kuen’s latest artworks reveal an ephemeral beauty

There is something fleeting and fragile on show in Lee’s Hong Kong exhibition of works created by ageing paper with sunlight and air

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 June, 2016, 6:01am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 June, 2016, 6:00am

Carol Lee Mei-kuen’s latest series of works in “Remembering Days, Forgetting Time”, on show at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, continues her exploration into the ephemeral.

By exposing paper to direct sunlight and air over a long period of time, the artist uses the oxidation process to create prints with colour gradients (golden brown and yellow) that are meticulously detailed.

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The exhibition comprises three different series: circular floral drawings, postcards, and collages – all employing the same “natural” technique that Lee has been experimenting with for more than a decade.

With the use of stencils, Lee created impressively clear flower motifs in her series Origin (1 to 17, 2014 and 2015). Round like halos, these drawings reference the origins of humanity. The artist placed dried plants and insects atop the surface to look like fossils imprinted on paper. This series is both scientific and poetic in tone.

Elsewhere, the rectangular pieces feature also ink, collaged objects and latex paint.

There is something fleeting and fragile in these works that suggests a lonely and somewhat dreamy experience. In Wonderful 1960s, the interior scene with retro allure is so dark and chaotic that the viewer can barely discern the details.

Like a nostalgic print maker, Lee also presents her series of sun-drawn postcards, a series that started in 2008. Here, we sense tactile intimacy and longing – during her 2015 exhibition at OCAT Xi’an, visitors were encouraged to send them to relatives living far away.

Quiet and discreet, “Remembering Days, Forgetting Time” reveals the beauty of, and in, the mundane.

“Remembering Days, Forgetting Time”, until June 25, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, SoHo, Hong Kong, tel: 2810 0065.