AMY KAO (Taiwanese-American, b. 1974)
Lunar Light, 2018
Dimensions Variable; 138" H x 403" L as installed
Born in Taiwan in 1974, Kao currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. With a background in continental philosophy, Amy Kao’s work speaks to the perceptual experience and experiences of nature as markers of history and culture. Her work has been exhibited at institutions, as such MoMA PS1, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York Public Library and Busan Biennial, South Korea. Most recently, Kao completed a site specific commission at the headquarters of Facebook, Inc. in New York and collaborated with fashion designer Jil Sander on a full season collection, along with large scale public commissions at Brookfield Place and the World Financial Center in New York.
Solo exhibitions include Michael Steinberg Fine Art, NY and Venetia Kapernekas Gallery, NY. Kao is a recipient of residency fellowships at Yaddo, NY; MacDowell Colony, NH; Art Omi, NY and the Lower East Side Printshop, NY. Reviews of her work have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Financial Times and Art News.
ARTIST STATEMENT, 2018
"My work speaks to the perceptual experience of nature and explores nature as markers of history and culture. Each of my densely elaborate work depicts a distinct landscape composed of hybrid motifs, which are created by dissecting and overlapping fragments of vegetal and geometric forms. They convey a world absent of gravity in which bearers of naturally, socially and environmentally suggestive motifs cluster in non-human communities.
Often recalling visual journeys in classical scroll paintings, the vinyl wall installations and ink drawings are immersive dreamscapes of swelling contours and ridge-line recessions. Inspired by the notion of topography of absence in Chinese paintings where negative space presides, they exist in a liminal space that bears neither foreground nor background. They are portals into mannered gardens of exotic fungi, oceanic invertebrates, single-celled organisms, interstellar debris and geometric formations. Interwoven pictorial fragments further heighten the sense of oscillation between perceived imageries and fleeting associations and between representation and abstraction.
The rubber relief installations are interwoven arabesque of exponentially multiplying ribbon- like scrawls. Together, the hybridity of imageries, achieved through intersecting and overlapping motifs, produces an intricate and rhythmic sequence of interlaced contours. The musical sense of theme and variation is transformed into a dynamic visual cacophony. It activates the interplay between light and shadow, motion and stillness. My process is inherently based on patterning and alterations. The hybrid imageries are achieved through a play on permutation and variation by overlapping, dissecting, negating, doubling and repeating.
Similarity, the suite of densely marked ink drawings explores the notion of emergence through negation. The blackened field of intricately and compact cumulative hair line marks can be taken as a topographical field or a microscopic view. It is situated in the threshold that is barely perceptible and voraciously present."