Samantha Kuok Leese

  • Holly Zausner, Second Breath, 2004–05, Super 16 mm and video, color, sound, 11 minutes.
    picks September 24, 2021

    “The Gift”

    “The Gift” is one of four linked exhibitions taking place across Singapore, Jakarta, Berlin, and Chiang Mai, Thailand, as part of “Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories,” an ambitious project headed by curators Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Grace Samboh, Gridthiya Gaweewong, and June Yap, who have been charting a dialogue between the collections of their respective institutions since 2017.

    “Gift” is the German word for poison, a paradox ripe for the picking. The philosophical conundrums of gifting, a gesture that lies at the heart of rituals across human cultures, is an intriguing curatorial

  • Heman Chong, Call for the Dead #25, 2020, silk-screened acrylic on linen, 18 1⁄8 × 24". From the eighty-three-part suite Call for the Dead, 2020.

    Heman Chong

    Heman Chong insists that there are “zero metaphors and zero irony” in his practice. “What you see is what you get,” he says. If this was true of Chong’s most recent show, “Peace Prosperity and Friendship with All Nations,” curated by Kathleen Ditzig, then it was only because the show—a presentation of works inspired by the year 2020—hardly needed an extra layer to make its point.

    Take, for example, the mural in which the phrase PEACE PROSPERITY AND FRIENDSHIP WITH ALL NATIONS appears in a thick black classic-monster-movie font. Dripping with a hypocrisy as sticky and chilling as the kitschy

  • View of “So Far, So Right: A Study of Reforms and Transitions Across Borders,” 2018, the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei.
    interviews January 09, 2018

    Morgan Wong

    Morgan Wong is a Hong Kong–based artist, whose “Dash Series,” 2016, deals with the so-called nine-dash line (also known as the ten-dash line and the eleven-dash line), a vague and disputed geopolitical border used by China and Taiwan to claim a major part of the South China Sea. Two paintings from that series and a commissioned video, The Proposed Boundary, 2017, are currently part of the group show “So Far, So Right: A Study of Reforms and Transitions Across Borders,” organized by the Taipei Contemporary Art Center. The exhibition is on view at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei through

  • picks December 01, 2017

    Dean Sameshima

    For Peres Projects’ first Hong Kong presentation (in collaboration with McNamara Art Projects), the Berlin-based gallery is exhibiting thirteen new and older works by Dean Sameshima. Many of the paintings, photographs, and prints place queer desire in the context of quainter but more oppressive times: when, for example, to circumvent obscenity laws, pornography was sent to readers of athletic magazines as back-page connect-the-dots puzzles (Torso, 2006; A Portrait of Mike, 2006; Anything Anytime… Now Nothing, 2007).

    Among Sameshima’s recent paintings, which he creates by projecting text onto

  • Elaine Cameron-Weir, Vault (detail), 2017, Stainless steel, dental phantom, rawhide, heating mantle, transformer, glass, and labdanum resin, 74 x 15 x 11".
    picks October 09, 2017

    “Trip of the Tongue”

    For her first show in Asia, curator Piper Marshall brings together works by five artists, including painting, sculpture, drawing, and photography. Titled “Trip of the Tongue,” a layered malapropism of the idiom “slip of the tongue,” the exhibition sets out to explore the problem of language through pieces that manipulate, even celebrate, the deficiencies of human expression and perception.

    The show is rigorously coherent, featuring a through line of dental imagery that, along with the tongue, constantly draws viewers’ attention back to the mouth, that imperfect instrument of language. Judith

  • Laura Owens, Untitled, 2015, oil and screen-printing ink on linen, 69 x 60".
    picks March 20, 2017

    “.com/.cn”

    What do we mean when we talk about post-internet art? For curators Klaus Biesenbach and Peter Eleey, it is in part a question of geography. For this exhibition, they have selected eighteen works by Chinese and Western artists that explore how regional diversities and differences are informed by our digital age and consequently affect contemporary art practices. It represents the first sortie of an ongoing research partnership between the K11 Art Foundation and MoMA PS1. Many of the works, which range from Wang Xin’s virtual-reality installation The Gallery, 2014–, to Oliver Payne’s classical

  • Michael Armitage, Slight of Hand, 2016, oil on lubugo bark cloth, 39 3/8 x 59 1/16".
    picks February 15, 2017

    Michael Armitage

    The Kenyan-born artist Michael Armitage was thirteen years old and waiting outside a cinema in Nairobi when he witnessed a bizarre scene: A naked man with a tire around his neck was being chased through the streets by a mob, in an act of unlawful gang justice. Necklacing (all works 2016) depicts Armitage’s memory of the pursued subject, with his head turned to reveal a clownlike face. The haunting and humorous image is framed by two sutures in the canvas’s surface. Armitage paints with oil on cloth made from Lubugo bark, which is more commonly used to make sacred fabrics. When stretched across

  • Tsang Kin-Wah, Nothing, 2016, video projections, sound, wood, stainless steel, soil, text, dimensions variable.
    picks October 12, 2016

    Tsang Kin-Wah

    The inaugural exhibition at the M+ Pavilion, “Nothing,” comprises a new site-specific commission of the same name made by Tsang Kin-Wah, who represented Hong Kong at the Fifty-Sixth Venice Biennale. Tsang’s immersive installation uses black-and-white video, sound, and text, and was inspired by the famous verse from Shakespeare’s Macbeth: “Life’s but a walking shadow . . . a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    One small image, depicting a heavily burdened donkey, is projected onto the floor. Another picture takes up an entire wall, showing young men walking through

  • View of “Wong Wai Yin,” 2016.
    picks September 21, 2016

    Wong Wai Yin

    At the entrance of Wong Wai Yin’s first solo exhibition in five years, a small monochromatic video shows the artist lying facedown on the ground, dressed in black (Reborn Every Second, all works 2016). Repeatedly, spirit-like versions of Wong rise from her body and walk away. The work sets the tone for the rest of the show, in which Wong’s videos, paintings, and installations form a wry and resonant account of the feelings, including guilt, anxiety, and fear, that she confronts as a first-time mother. The artist’s psychological (and, to a lesser extent, practical) adjustment to motherhood is

  • View of  “Lee Kit: Hold your breath, dance slowly,” 2016.
    interviews August 08, 2016

    Lee Kit

    Lee Kit is a Hong Kong–born, Taipei-based multimedia artist who represented Hong Kong at the 2013 Venice Biennale. His first solo museum exhibition in the US, “Hold your breath, dance slowly,” is currently showing at the Walker Art Center and features a selection of recent works. Here, Lee discusses his three-week residency in Minneapolis, the politics of his practice, and Every Colour You Are, 2016, the site-specific video and painting installation that he produced for the exhibition, which is on view through October 9, 2016.

    HONESTLY, I COULDN’T FEEL AMERICA. Of course I’ve read the news. I

  • Margaret Lee, W.D.U.T.U.R. #5, 2016, photograph and acrylic paint, 28 x 42".
    picks March 30, 2016

    Margaret Lee

    Margaret Lee’s first solo show in Asia doubles as the Dallas Museum of Art’s inaugural off-site project. The commissioned series encompasses photography, painting, drawing, and sculpture, and reflects the artist’s interest in challenging historic structures of identity and power. Ten watercolors in Untitled (all works 2016), in particular, reveal a fascination with calligraphic gesture and distillation of form that is traditionally linked to Western male artists such as Jackson Pollock and Yves Klein. Lee’s works borrow from Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism and also rely on the concept of

  • Jane Lee, Wing I, 2015, handmade cotton paper, 96 x 47 x 6".
    picks February 15, 2016

    Jane Lee

    Jane Lee’s residency at Singapore Tyler Print Institute resulted in thirty-three works that represent the artist’s first departure from abstraction. Introducing paper to her remarkably tactile oeuvre, Lee focuses on sequences, cutting, coiling, folding, dying, and otherwise manipulating the material to create her narrative.

    Each iteration of Set Me Free I–VII (all works 2015) has a tangle of paper birds emerging from a cylindrical nest spray-painted blue, green, gray, or pink. On a superficial level, these new works do not exude the same confidence and verve as Lee’s 2013 exhibition of paintings,