Untitled (Tseng Kwong Chi)
Lee’s drawings of Tseng Kwong Chi are based on the Hong Kong-based artist’s 1979 series of photographs in which Tseng photographed himself at well-known tourist destinations in the U.S. Dressed in a Zhongshan, or “Mao” suit, Tseng’s masquerade questioned issues of identity, belonging, and cultural difference during the height of the AIDS epidemic.
Tseng, who passed from the disease in 1990, used his body as a performative object; Lee’s meticulous graphite reproductions allude to loss by eliding the artist’s figure. Simulataneously, Lee’s reverential production is an act of cross-temporal embodiment through image.
- David Franz