Artist's Statement: Lee Kit

The Hong Kong artist on 'Every Breath You Take'

Born in Hong Kong in 1978, Lee Kit’s solo exhibition, Every Breath You Take, is a sparse assemblage of pale paintings on cardboard, ready-mades from Ikea and a 20-channel karaoke installation. Here, Lee introduces his passion for Nivea hand cream and dispassionate art production

‘The title of the exhibition is from a Police song – the kind of song you like to listen to but don’t dare tell people you like. Behind my ideas and concepts, there are always one or two songs that inspire them.

‘Every breath is like every moment. My works capture a single momentand then extend it, even if it’s not something you want to capture. Our daily emotions are almost always between happy and sad, but it’s difficult to use words to describe this state of mind.

‘These are paintings on cardboard, but they look like ready-made objects [with brand names and tape marks painted on], so I try to exhibit them with ready-mades. They’re cardboard so they will mould. I’m sure they’ll last at least four years, though, because I started this series four years ago.

‘These paintings are portraits. If I miss Mary, her image is in my mind but for some reason maybe the name Nivea repeats in my mind.

‘I’m 34. My generation grew up in a colonial era. When you go into a supermarket you see products from all around the world. It’s a kind of brainwashing, not just on the consumer level.
‘I want the show to look very weak. Not weak. Empty. I make use of the space to create an atmosphere, that’s slow, a little bit sad, like when you first wake up. If you confront that moment, when you feel like you’re missing something, you’ll feel calm.

‘These are my works. Almost nothing for you to look at.’

Every Breath You Take is at Minsheng Art Museum until January 2.