PHOTOS BY AARON WYNIA
TEXT BY JESS CARROLL
In today’s art world, a place fraught with personal branding, internet identities, and ego-flexing, it’s rare to see a young artist who is not interested in showing off. However, Toronto-based Laurie Kang’s list of inspirations suggest an enthusiasm for, rather, a kind of quiet collectivity:
“Inspirations? Reading. I read at the gym on the elliptical and it’s very invigorating. Getting out of the studio. Going for walks. Ballet class. Looking at other work. Talking to people about others’ work.”
Having made her way through the art ranks in Toronto with her soft, minimalist, photo-manipulation works and sculptures, Kang is humble and empathetic, integrating the idea of collaboration into her work, and honouring those in the art community who have inspired her.
Her show, Deferring Diffractions, was up at 8-11 this past January. In collaboration with Vancouver-based artist/writer Tiziana La Melia, curator Christine Atkinson and writer/curator Cheyanne Turions of No Reading After The Internet, Kang invited a large cast of others to share the space, rejecting the attention offered up by the solo show to focus on creating community.
“Collaboration is empowering for me; I see friendship as political and pretty much all of my collaborative efforts to date have friendship as a bonding agent,” she says, adding, “It’s great to have an idea ‘validated’ and gain traction through a collaborator’s enthusiasm or empathy.”
Kang’s image and sculptural works acted as the backdrop for small, performative events that occurred in the gallery for the month that her show was up. These included the subtle changing of the lighting in the gallery once a week, short readings of essays she is inspired by, and the performance of a scripted conversation written by La Melia involving an exchange between two intersexed underwater flatworms. Kang became intrigued by flatworms after watching a nature documentary; again, Kang pushes away from art world egoism, here through incorporating science into her work.
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