Kang Seung Lee
Untitled (The Heart of A Hand)
Graphite on goatskin parchment, antique 24K gold thread on Sambe, walnut frame
Two parts: approx. 29.5 x 41 in (74 x 104 cm); 9 x 7.75 in (23 x 20 cm)
Framed: 35.5 x 45.25 x 3 in (90 x 115 x 8 cm); 12 x 10.5 x 3 in (31 x 27 x 8 cm); overall: 35.25 x 55.75 x 3 in (90 x 142 x 8 cm)
Kang Seung Lee’s work draws on oft-elided histories and ephemeral memories of queer communities, spanning generations and geographies, weaving them together to create syncretic dialogues. He has been particularly attentive to the marginalized histories of a generation of artists lost to the AIDS epidemic—the works on view at Frieze Seoul variously cite Martin Wong, Alvin Baltrop, Peter Hujar, and Paul Thek.
With labor-intensive processes such as hand-embroidery on Sambe (hemp textile traditionally used in Korea as a burial shroud) and recreating photographs in graphite drawing, Lee pays homage to a prior generation of queer artists working within, through, and in spite of illness and tragedy.
Untitled (The Heart of A Hand) derives from a text by Mexican poet Xavier Villaurrutia, translated into ASL via Martin Wong’s signature “font” on Sambe and goatskin parchment.