LEE Ka-sing 李家昇, born in 1954, photo-based artist. He was the co-founder of DISLOCATION, a former independent photography magazine. In 1989, he was awarded “Artist of the Year” by Hong Kong Artists’ Guild. In 1999, he received Fellowship for Artistic Development by Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Selected monographs include Thirty-one Photographs (1993, Photo Art), Forty Poems, photographs 1995-98 (1998, Ocean & Pounds, Hong Kong Arts Development Council publication grant), The Language of Fruits and Vegetables (2004, Hong Kong Heritage Museum), De ci de là des choses (2006, Editions You-Feng). His work is collected by private and public collections including Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Japan) and Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Lee currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

生於1954年, 多年從事攝影創作。攝影刊物《女那禾多》創辦人之一。1989年, 獲香港藝術家聯盟頒發藝術家年獎,1999年獲香港藝術發展局之視藝發展獎。主要攝影出版物包括《李家昇照片冊》(影藝出版社,1993)、《Forty Poems》(奧信彭司,香港藝術發展局資助,1998)、《蔬果說話》(香港文化博物館,2004)、《東西 De ci de là des choses》(友豐出版社, 2006)。作品為私人及公共團體收藏,包括日本東京都寫真美術館,香港文化博物館等。李現於加拿大多倫多生活及工作。



 
I would have written a long poem (2017)

 


 

I would have written a long poem, 2017

An installation of large LCD display panel with diptych photographs looping continuously
Size: 46x27.5x2.75 inch

 

Negative Mirror (2016)

 

Bookshelf at the Candy Factory Loft (2003, a prologue)
8x10 inch, Azo fiber base paper (2003)

Negative is the new positive, when fake becomes real. 遠處近方黑白對倒。天地一線
All works in the NEGATIVE MIRROR series are unique, with photographic paper direct exposed through lens. Some of the photographs are in smaller sizes such as 4x5 or 5x7. Some were taken with larger format cameras from 8x10 to 20x20.

More about the Negative Mirror
http://leekasing-nm.blogspot.com

 

 

A suite of 16 picture-haiku works I made in the year 2013 (2016)

 


A suite of 16 picture-haiku works I made in the year 2013

Size: 56.5x9.5x2.5 inch
Composition of 16 pieces of photo blocks (7.5"x2.5"x1.5" each)

More about the picture-haiku
http://leekasing-haiku.blogspot.com


I left my heart on the marble floor. Hong Kong, 2016




In March 2016 I was on a trip to Hong Kong for my niece’s wedding. That was also the same time when the annual ART BASEL happened. Art surfaced everywhere. All photographs in this series were taken in Hong Kong, except one, which was taken on my way back home from the airport through the taxi window. While I was on the trip, my best friend Fai passed away in Toronto. It was so sudden, and sad. I want to dedicate this series of photographs to him, in memory of our good old Hong Kong days in the seventies and eighties. His family moved to Toronto in the late eighties. After nine years, we joined them and celebrated the Millennium.

I left my heart on the marble floor. Hong Kong, 2016
(a suite of 35 diptych photographs)
http://leekasing.com/hongkong2016




MOVIOLA (2015 to present)

 

MOVIOLA series
It all began with a winged-man trying to start a conversation with Oscar, #A20160228

Size: 47x46.5 inch
Composition of 234 pieces of photo square (2.5"x2.5"x1.5" each)
There was an installation at INDEXG, February 28, 2016

More about MOVIOLA
http://leekasing-moviola.blogspot.com



Z FICTION (2008 to present)


Z FICTION is a series of photo-based works I began in 2008. They are fictional and narrative, and each one is an individual self-contained piece. Their texts came after the images had been made. The texts are an integral part of each completed work.

To date, around 70 works in this series have been made. Print size is 16x20 inches, available in editions of 10. All are Archival Pigment Prints. A selection of prints is available for viewing at this page -
http://zfiction-e.blogspot.com

Currently, I am working on translating the texts from English to Chinese. Some of the Chinese edition prints are now available at this page -
http://zfiction-c.blogspot.com

 



Mobile Poetry Lab (2012 to present)


Mobile Poetry Lab series
I Hope You Are Well (to a contemporary art space in Beijing)
(2014)
Mixed media, size 52.5x3.5x1.5 inch, in edition of five

The Mobile Poetry Lab series began in 2012, as a continuation of my poetry writing activities which go back to the early seventies. The main difference is that this time, I am writing in pictures rather than using language in text.

More than a dozen works were made in different scales and in a mix of horizontal and vertical formats. 5 editions for each. Some of them are exist as separate pieces and are presented like an installation:

Mobile Poetry Lab series
Holly descending a staircase from the third floor to the gallery, about to go out to make a photograph at Trinity Bellwoods Park (one day in the spring of our thirtieth anniversary)
(2012)

Mixed media, 30 pieces of photo square (2.5"x2.5"x1.5" each)
An installation at Gallery 50 (December 2014)

Mobile Poetry Lab series
http://mobilepoetrylab.blogspot.com



Light Readings (2014 to present)



Light Readings series is a photographic journal in diptych form. I began this project in 2014 as a way of generating pictures about the city, fragments of my thoughts, or reflections on my reading. They are carried on like a casual conversation with a friend, or manifested as spontaneously as brush strokes on the pages of a sketchbook.

More than 400 of these LIGHT READINGS diptychs were made. Recently, I began to issue limited editions of some of these works. All were printed as Archival Pigment Prints, on heavy weight 12x22 inch paper (image size 10x20), in editions of 10. In 2015, I released a DVD of works from the first year of them: The Imagination Which Turns Blue into Pink. It contains a selection of 250 diptychs.

Light Readings series
http://www.lightreadings.com



The Magic of Two Oceans (2011)




The Magic of Two Oceans is a work presented on a web platform. I selected images from my previous works, and organized them into two groups, pairing images displayed on screen, randomly juxtaposed, as if they were talking to each other. Somehow, this work inspired me to start the LIGHT READINGS photo journal. Working with images from new and old takes, I then juxtaposed them in an utterly subjective way.


Study 1: Zen Tao Journal (2010)



Zen Tao Journal series
20100725zt-139-100806 (2010)

Zen Tao Journal series appeared in 2010 as a study of oriental subject matter and objects. Approximately 20 works were made; some of the works can be viewed at this page:
http://zentaoj.blogspot.com



Study 2: Mountain Song (2010) / Small Songs (2015)



Mountain Song series
20100228-232 (2010)



Small Songs series
20150710-2439 (2015)

The Mountain Song series was initiated in 2010, and was mainly about mountains, rocks, stones and trees. Fewer than 20 works were made, and solely in black and white. In 2015, I picked up the study again, and gave it a new title: Small Songs. It includes the early works from the Mountain Song series, as well as the new works in colour, his time not limited to stones and trees as subject matter. These works do, however, share a common ground: the images produced do not necessarily carry a strong, epic message. They can be, for example, just small studies of tree branches.

Mountain Song series
http://leekasing.com/mountainsong

Small Songs series
http://leekasing-smallsongs.blogspot.com




Toronto Myth (2009-2013)



In 2009, I started to work on a series of images under the overall title Toronto Myth. Some of these images I re-photographed from my older works, and from family albums or found pictures. I believe this was an extension of a work I did in 2004. A curator from Hong Kong invited me to be part of a 3-person exhibition. The show was about Hong Kong, and was expected to present new works. By that time, I had resided in Toronto for few years and obviously didn’t have many new images of Hong Kong. The solution was for me to re-photograph and transform some of the photographs I had taken during the previous 20 years when I was in Hong Kong. This provided me with a new perspective on cities and some new interpretations of the urban idea.

The original Toronto Myth project was to be a suite of 3000 images. Once they were finished, they were to be presented as moving images, in a never-ending loop. An individual image would now be similar to a small dot in a huge array of thousands of photos on the wall. Here, individual image might not be centrally important, but would somehow contribute to the texture and density of the whole thing undertaking.

Toronto writer Gary Michael Dault saw some of the images in progress and suggested writing a brief text for each image. Once that began, the Toronto Myth project moved into a new chapter. On the other hand, I did come to abandon the aggressive 3000 images concept.

Every few days, I would email Gary three images. Shortly thereafter, he would supply three prose-poem texts, and I would post them online. From 2009 to 2013, there appeared 117 pairs of images and texts.

Toronto Myth
http://torontomyth.blogspot.com



The Second-read and other Negotiation Matters (2009-2010)



The Second-read and other Negotiation Matters
This series was made between 2009 and 2010, as a re-visitation of some of the books that I previously acquired. They are, in some way, a kind of dialogue. 128 works were made. In March 2010, a selection of pictures from this series was exhibited at Jerome Liebling Center for Film, Photography, and Video, in Massachusetts.



De ci de là des choses (2006)



De ci de là des choses series
Writing a 150 gigabyte novel (2006)
17x22 inch, Archival Pigment Print, in edition of 10

My De ci de là des choses series was originally produced for an exhibition in Paris in 2004. It was a collaboration with Hong Kong poet and writer Leung Ping Kwan, my photographs functioning as pairings to his poems in the exhibition. A suite of twenty works were made. Editions You-Feng published a 92 pages catalogue for the exhibition, included all images as well as Ping Kwan's poems in Chinese and the French translation.

A selection of work from De ci de là des choses series -
http://leekasing-dongxi.blogspot.com



The Language of Fruits and Vegetables (2004)



The Language of Fruits and Vegetables
(2004)
Artist book, 5.5x5.5 inch, 288 pages



252 Photographs by Lee Ka-sing and a poem by Leung Ping Kwan. Book designed by Lee Ka-sing
There were 252 numbered copies, plus 500 exhibition copies for an installation at Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Published by Ocean and Pounds, with additional support from the Hong Kong Heritage Museum



Hong Kong Arts Policy and Strategy at the Turn of the Century (2000)



Hong Kong Arts Policy and Strategy at the Turn of the Century
(2000)
C-type photograph, each in size of 30x40 inch

This was a series of 6 photographs in three pairs. They were originally produced for an exhibition at the Mizuma Art Gallery in Tokyo, as part of the event MORPHE 2000 (curated by Sabrina Fung). Thereafter, the series was shown at the Hong Kong Art Museum, for an exhibition of recent works from Hong Kong designers (curated by Kan Tai Keung). In 2008, the series was selected for the exhibition "Not about Truth: Chinese Conceptual Photography since the 90s" (curated by FAN Wanjen Anthea). Somehow, in the last moment, the art museum was not able to locate the original photographs (they were found some months after the event). My works were featured in the exhibition catalogue, but were absent from the exhibition. People thought, it was such a conceptual way to talk about the arts policy of Hong Kong.

Two sets of vintage photograph were made. Some years after the work was produced, I decided to conserve only the first two pairs, and removed the third pair entirely from the series.

Hong Kong Arts Policy and Strategy at the Turn of the Century
http://hongkongartspolicy.blogspot.com



Foodscape (1996)



Foodscape series
At Tan Dao Coffee Shop, a Discussion About the Relations between Sexes, 1996
30x40 inch, inkjet on canvas

Foodscape was a major collaboration I worked with my poet and writer friend Leung Ping Kwan (1949-2013). The inauguration of the collaboration was an exhibition held at ARTSPEAK gallery in Vancouver in March of 1997, as part of the programme for CITIES AT THE END OF TIME: HONG KONG 1997, which brought together artists and writers from Hong Kong, Canada and the U.S. to present works that explored the cultural and social identity of Hong Kong. The show was mounted at the McIntosh Gallery in London, Ontario in the same year.

After that inauguration, this collaboration project was further developed and exhibited in other cities: at the Goethe-Institut, Hong Kong (1998), at Rou-un-ki Aki-ex Gallery, Tokyo (2000), at Ruffini Kultur, Munich (2000) and in 2004, there was a larger exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum (with guest artist Millie Chen).

In the first chapter of Foodscape, in two sets, ten works were made, each image being 30 x40 inches, in inkjet on canvas. Unfortunately, the exhibition set was somehow lost when returning from Canada after the exhibitions abroad. These early inkjet prints were not as archival as today's materials are. I am planning to issue a new set of editions in the coming days. In 1998, a small number of black and white gelatin silver photographs were also made, with support from AGFA, part of their help in producing diamond screen digital negatives.

Foodscape series
http://leekasing-foodscape.blogspot.com



Forty Poems (1995-1996)



Forty Poems (1995-1996)
a series of photographs each in size of 8.5x12 inch, dye sublimation print

The first stage of Forty Poems series was in a group exhibition in Hong Kong Arts Centre (1995). The completed series was shown at Tower Gallery in Yokohama in 1996, an exhibition curated by Iisawa Kotario. The show later toured to the Princz Gallery, Kyoto and to the Atrium in Fukuoka. Almost 20 years after the series was created, the vintage prints were finally on wall again. In 2015, the exhibition WALKING SMOKE at Gallery 50, showcased some of my early works in vintage medium.

The original idea of the FORTY POEMS was to make forty 8x10 inch photographs as a suite. When all photographs are grouped together, it becomes a piece of completed work. As it happened, I didn’t made all 40 photographs, finishing only about 30 pieces. In 1998, when I was working on the monograph Forty Poems (with publishing grant from Hong Kong Art Development Council), I edited the suite down to 20 works. The whole work was a unified piece about Hong Kong.

Forty Poems series
http://leekasing-40poems.blogspot.com



Hong Kong Journal (1995-1997)



The Island Looking Out From a Ferry To Peng Chau (1997)
Gelatin silver photograph, 16x20 inch

Works in the monograph Forty Poems are in two parts, the second part includes a selection of 20 black and white works that I made between 1995 to 1997; they were grouped under the title Hong Kong Journal. These images were in fact, not really made as a series when they were originally produced. In 1998, however, when AGFA offered me the support necessary to produce digital negatives with their diamond screening technology, the Hong Kong Journal photos made up the selection I prepared for this new incarnation. A handful of direct contact gelatin silver prints were made, each 16 x 20 inches.

On the End page of the monograph, I remarked on these images: "The black and white photographs are from two bodies of work. One being a documentation of Hong Kong in 1997, organised by China Tourism Press. The second belongs to the on-going FOODSCAPE Project. These photographs have been exhibited in Hong Kong City Hall, Goethe Institute, and Asian Fine Arts Factory in Berlin."

Hong Kong Journal
http://leekasing-hkj.blogspot.com



City at The End of Time (1992)


City at the End of Time (1992)
C-type photograph, 40x60 inch, mounted on wood panel, with steel frame

This image was originally created for the cover of CITY AT THE END OF TIME, a bilingual edition of poetry co-edited and co-translated by Leung Ping Kwan and Gordon T. Osing. It was published by the University of Hong Kong in 1992.

This is a vintage photograph, printed in early 1993 for a HKIPP members' exhibition. In late 1993, there was another photograph printed (48x68 inch), made for my solo exhibition THIRTY-ONE PHOTOGRAPHS at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. In 1996, the curator chose four works from my show for ASIAN VIEW, an exhibition at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. All four works were acquired by the museum after the exhibition.



Ask For A Brand Plastic Harvest (1991)


Ask For A Brand Plastic Harvest (1991)
C-type photograph, 43x58 inch, mounted on wood panel, with steel frame

The Japanese magazine FASHION NEWS launched a Chinese edition in Hong Kong in 1991. In the inaugural issue, there was a special feature on the Sixties and Seventies. I was commissioned to do a spread-page image as the opening for that feature. Ask For A Brand Plastic Harvest was created in the same year, for HKIPP members’ exhibition. I used some of the visual elements from the above mentioned assignment and developed them into a new work.



Walking Lines from the Thinbit Studio (1989-2006)



The Red Thread Going from One Point to Another
(1993)
Image created for the poster of an exhibition with various artists on June Forth

It all began with the idea of “rethinking photography.” Line-works are photographic images, but without the middle-tones. And of course a copying machine is one more type of camera, among many others.

In 1989, with these concepts in mind, I began to create collage works by using a photo-copy machine. Multi layers of images were over-printed onto a single piece of paper. It wasn’t until the mid nineties, that I switched to using a scanner and working on computer for layering. From 2006 onward, I turned back to the camera instead of using a scanner. But I must say, all of these processes are intriguingly different, and exert different psychological effect on you while you are working.

Walking Lines from the Thinbit Studio is a title I made up while putting the works together with the pieces I produced from 1989 to 2006. Over a hundred works of that type were made during those years. They include the cover work created for IDN, a digital arts magazine; The call-for-entry poster for Hong Kong Designers Association Awards; a poster for a June Forth art exhibition, Advertising for Hong Kong Telecom, the Cover of the Grant Application Guide brochure for Hong Kong Art Development Council, a series of more than a dozen book covers for Cultural Perspective of Ching Man; Wall murals for Asian Legend, a restaurant in Toronto, and more.



Image for the cover of Grant Application Guide brochure, Hong Kong Art Development Council (1996)



Thirty-one Photographs (1993)



Thirty-one Photographs (1993)
Exhibition catalogue, 10x10.25 inch, 80 pages.
Published by Photoart, on the occasion of the exhibition -
Lee Ka-sing: Thirty-one Photographs, Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 1993

During the decade from the mid eighties to the mid nineties, only a thin line existed between my commissioned work and my personal work. Perhaps, it was due to the influence of photographers such as Irving Penn and others. People come to you seeking your visual language, and, at the same time, you try to maintain within your own work your personal aesthetic philosophy and heart.

In 1993, I mounted an exhibition of works selected from my previous assignments. It was titled THIRTY-ONE PHOTOGRAPHS. Yau Leung of Photoart published the catalogue, Lilian Tang designed the publication, and the exhibition poster as well. Leung Ping Kwan wrote a long intro for the book, an essay he later turned into one of the Ten Chapters, of his book on Hong Kong culture.

Some of works in this exhibition are archived in these two web pages-
http://leekasing-photographs.blogspot.com
http://leekasing-colourwork.blogspot.com




Polaroids (1986-1994)



Polaroid #20150225-1178, format: 4x5 inch
This image was originally created for the cover of Leung Ping-kwan's book 三魚集 (1987)

Some of the photo works I made 30 years ago, might still exist - as a sort of record - as Polaroids. Originally, these Polaroids were made only for the purposes of composition and light testing. But the Polaroid system is unique; it is quite different from photographs or prints that exist in editions.

My Polaroids are also documents. They eye-witnesses to some of my works before they were finally created. Currently, a selection of these Polaroids are in an exhibition in Hong Kong, organised by Blindspot Gallery.


A selection of Polaroids from some of the assignments 1986-1994

http://leekasing-p.blogspot.com




Xinjiang series (1986)



Xinjiang series (1986)
C-type photograph, 20x24 inch

A series 4 photographs, after a trip to Xinjiang. This series was in the exhibition OUT OF CONTEXT, an artist exhibition project at 15 Kennedy Road, Hong Kong.



Cameraworks (1980-1981)



Tongzi, nihao! (1981)
C-type photograph, 20x24 inch

In 1981, my wife, photographer Holly Lee, and I had a two-person exhibition at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. Those were the early steps we walked leading us into our personal works; we carried them on alongside our commercial studio assignments. In this exhibition, Holly showed her portrait series about artists and friends. I presented two bodies of work - a series of snapshots from various trips to China, and a suite of photographs taken with a 8x10 large format camera. There were approximately 15 works of 20 x 24 inch C-type prints. I photographed my personal objects.



Commissioned work


Five Senses, one of a series of 5 works as wall murals, commissioned by Asian Legend, a restaurant in Toronto (2003)


One from a series of commissioned works for Hôtel The Peninsula Paris (2014)

We maintained a studio in Hong Kong for advertising and editorial photography assignments since the late seventies, that existed up to 1997 while our family moved to Toronto. Now, I am mainly on my own personal works. Sometimes, there happened with big or small collaborations from art consultants, architects, or designers. Commissioned works came to me for site-specific projects.


Vintage Postcards



Postcard printed in 90s
104mmx147mm, offset printing on card stock, with varnish coating

Just recently, I have made some of my vintage postcards available at the POSTCARD HONG KONG website. Most of these cards were printed in the 80s and 90s. Approximately 50 cards were produced in that 15 years. If we can agree that Polaroids are expensive artifacts as original works, postcards, on the other hand, may be the most inexpensive photo-artifacts around.

Lee Ka-sing’s Postcards at POSTCARD HONG KONG
http://postcardhongkong.blogspot.ca/p/leekasing.html

 



Photo Diary: PostscriptX


PostscriptX was started in Fall 2010, as a diary written with a camera. It was originally intended to safe - in a rather casual way - some personal moments and thoughts.

PostscriptX
http://postscriptx.blogspot.com



Updates and News: Lee Ka-sing 12345


 

Lee Ka-sing 12345 is a daily updated Portal site with links pointed to all my fresh posts. Subscribe to this site to follow my creative activities.

Lee Ka-sing 12345
http://leekasing12345.blogspot.com




All Rights Reserved.

Lee Ka-sing
mail@leekasing.com


with Sukimoto, 2009
by Jim Allen


2003
by Holly Lee


1997
by Christopher Doyle

 

 

 

Calligraphy by Nobuyoshi Araki