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Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA-KL) is pleased to announce Malaysian artist Lee Mok Yee’s (b. 1988) first solo exhibition in Malaysia. A Rhetorical Garden is scheduled to run from 22 June – 22 July 2021. In light of the ongoing nation’s Movement Control Order (MCO), the showcase will be online via the RKFA website.
This body of work was largely inspired by the city of Suzhou, famous for its Chinese Garden landscapes. The designs of doors, windows, and floors in homes in Suzhou presented both Chinese philosophy and Feng Shui, which was riveting for the artist as it presented a blend of different beliefs. Bonsai aesthetics is a big part of Suzhou’s architecture scene in which is popularly incorporated to embellish homes and showcase the socioeconomic status of homeowners. In Bonsai aesthetics, rocks symbolise mountain ranges and towering peaks, whereas small ponds or springs symbolise rivers and lakes – presenting the larger world of nature in a microcosm; interpreting the harmony and coexistence between man and nature.
10 sculptures are strategically presented in an attempt to change the landscape of the gallery space, akin to the Bonsai aesthetics, inviting viewers to walk around the sculptures. The organic-styled sculptures are a result of the wood cork being spontaneously torn apart and yet, systematically built. This process involved stacking wood cork, piece-by-piece and layer-by-layer, becoming a meditation exercise for the artist as the recurring actions were an extension of energy that brought him a sense of calmness and peace. The fabrication process focused on simplicity and practicality, presenting meticulous labour and how the artist tediously managed the materials. This exhibition comes together as the artist’s response to the new digitised world where physical touch, intimacy, and time-consuming labour are seen as detrimental to our current fast-moving lifestyle.
Lee Mok Yee (b.1988, Klang, Malaysia) currently lives & works in Kuala Lumpur. As an artist, he believes that existing materials whether physical or conceptual reflects his own culture and political background. Using these materials, he attempts to interpret and reconstruct the characteristics and utility of objects. He strongly believes that art and society are interconnected, and that it is not essential to be highly technical to express one’s self in art.
Mok Yee was part of the INXO International Residency program 2019 in Kluang, Johor, Malaysia. The INXO Arts & Culture (L) Foundation was established to manage and develop arts and culture education in a sustained manner, transcending social, racial and national boundaries, acting as a platform for wisdom, resources and efforts.
In 2012, Mok Yee had his first solo exhibition Scepticism is a Virtue at Artseni Gallery. He has also been exhibited internationally in London, Korea and Germany.
Lee Mok Yee – A Rhetorical Garden
22 June - 22 July 2021