Laurie Kang @ Oakville Galleries
Pictures by Laura Findlay
The work of Laurie Kang is rooted in an enduring concern with the body and the forces that shape it—political, affective and otherwise. Drawing on fields such as biology, feminist theory and science fiction, Kang stages installations that take up the body in and as a process, working with unstable, continuously sensitive materials that are functionally and metaphorically primordial and in flux.
In recent years, Kang has become known for her site-responsive wall sculptures, in which industrial materials such as steel studs and track are erected and skinned with exposed, unfixed photo papers to render scenes that are visceral and speculative in equal measure. Here, in her first solo museum exhibition, Kang presents a series of seemingly deconstructed forms that turn away from the upright and toward the horizontal.
Titled Beolle—Korean for “worm”—the exhibition largely grazes the floor, existing in a state between form and decay. From swarms of fermentation vessels and scattered casts of vegetal matter to knots of larval forms, each of the works in the exhibition alludes to conditions of becoming, both structural and organic.
Kang’s approach to her work is parasitic in character—misusing materials, turning forms inside out, and treating her personal and cultural histories as raw material to collapse that which separates one thing from another: appropriate from inappropriate, inside from outside, “we” from “other.” In revealing the fundamental entanglement between—and instability within—any given set of oppositions, Kang argues for the virtue of the volatile, the porous and the uncontained as a means of engaging the world around us.
Laurie Kang (b. 1985, Toronto) holds an MFA from the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College. Recent and forthcoming solo exhibitions of her work include Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge; Interstate Projects, New York; Gallery TPW & Franz Kaka, Toronto; and Raster Gallery, Warsaw. Her work has been included in group projects at venues such as Remai Modern, Saskatoon; Cue Art Foundation, New York; L’inconnue, Montreal; Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Poland; The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto; and Camera Austria, Graz. She has been artist-in-residence at Rupert, Vilnius; Tag Team, Bergen; The Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Alberta; and the Art Gallery of Ontario.