The Asymmetry Distinguished Lecture Series on Contemporary Chinese and Sinophone Art 2023

Porous Beings: Lotus Laurie Kang in conservation with Xiaowen Zhu 

“My work exists in literal and metaphoric states of becoming and unfixity, and this deconstructive strategy aims to continually build, break down and rebuild.”

Lotus Laurie Kang is known for her visceral installations made up of sensitive material, ranging from photographic paper and darkroom chemicals to cordyceps fungus, lotus roots and cabbage. In Kang’s practice, such unstable matter is left exposed to register the effects of time, light and other atmospheric changes and slowly break down over the duration of the exhibition, or cast in silicon, aluminium and bronze and held in a state of temporal suspension. Her work explores the porousness of boundaries between the human body and the world at large, including its ecological, political, social and cultural dimensions, thus inviting what Kang calls ‘a deeper understanding of intimacy between all these seemingly disparate parts.’

For the third event in the Asymmetry Distinguished Lecture Series Kang will introduce her most recent body of work that will be shown in her upcoming exhibition at the Chisenhale Gallery, and discuss issues of care, belonging, matter and memory in conversation with Xiaowen Zhu, Director of esea contemporary.

Lotus Laurie Kang holds an MFA from the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College. Selected exhibitions include: Molt (New York-Lethbridge-Los Angeles-Toronto-Chicago-), MCA Chicago (2023), Memory Work, Hessel Museum of Art (2023), Do Redo Repeat, Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver (2022); 2021 Triennial: Soft Water Hard Stone, New Museum, New York (2021), Her Own Devices, Franz Kaka, Toronto (2020); Total Disbelief, SculptureCenter, New York (2019), If I Have A Body, Remai Modern, Saskatoon (2019); Beolle, Oakville Galleries, Oakville (2019), Formula 1: A Loud, Low Hum, Cue Art Foundation, New York (2019); Labor Relations, Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Wroclaw (2016); The Mouth Holds The Tongue, The Power Plant, Toronto (2015). In 2022 Kang was the inaugural resident of Horizon Art Foundation.

Xiaowen Zhu is Director of esea contemporary in Manchester, a non-profit organisation dedicated to East and Southeast Asian contemporary art and visual culture. She has worked internationally in Shanghai, New York, Los Angeles, London and Berlin as a director, author and lecturer. She was previously Assistant Director at Times Art Center Berlin and has conceived exhibitions with established and emerging artists from all over the world. Zhu is the author of Oriental Silk (Hatje Cantz, 2020) and Encounters (Shanghai Educational Publishing House, 2022). She is a prolific speaker and has lectured about contemporary art and culture at universities around the world. Zhu has been featured in Apollo magazine’s 2022 list of 40 Under 40 Asia Pacific Thinkers.

Organised by Dr Wenny Teo, Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art, The Courtauld; Michèle Ruo Yi Landolt, Deputy Director, Asymmetry Art Foundation, and Dr Feixuan Xu, Asymmetry Postdoctoral Fellow, The Courtauld.

This annual lecture series is generously supported by Asymmetry Art Foundation

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5 May 2023

Friday 5th May 2023, 6pm - 8pm BST

Free, booking essential

Lecture Theatre 2, Vernon Square Campus

This is an in person event at our Vernon Square campus. Booking will close 30 minutes before the event begins.




Photograph showing 7 silver metal bowls of different sizes with different objects inside, set on a stone surface
Lotus Laurie Kang, Mother (2019-2020) Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times; Courtesy of the artist