Ken Lum Photo-Mirrors
January 31 – March 8, 1997
Main Gallery

Developed from his long time interest in the relationship between communication and identification as it traverses the domain of photography, Ken Lum's recent work has moved increasingly into an expression of socially intense moments, pictures of individuals in conflict or bliss or simply beside themselves, emotionally concentrated to the point where language is challenged and the idea of self-identity thrown into question. Rather than augmenting the conventional view of capturing a moment by rendering it hypo-static, a view which conforms with a central thought about the problematic condition of photography regarding movement, Lum has attempted to prolong the engagement of the work through a text that registers as the repeated utterances of persons either at a loss for words or at the limits of verbal articulation. In so doing, a kind of motion of the picture is created, although one which tends to destabilize the pictorial frame of reference.

Ken Lum's entirely new body of work entitled the Photo-Mirrors, will consist of dresser sized mirrors in stained wood frames. Along the edges of the frames, one or a selection of snapshot photographs will be inserted in a manner similar to what one finds along the edges of mirrors in bedrooms, barber shops, etc. While the form is simple, the structure and the content it brings up is not. When viewing these works one is always in the presence of one's own reflection as the attention is thrown onto the tender images of someone else's souvenirs. These new works function rather like modern day memento moris where the soul of the self is doubted by the image of the other.