Hong Kong, b.1984

Leelee Chan

Leelee Chan was born in 1984 in Hong Kong. She received her MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009 and her BFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. She currently lives and works in Hong Kong.

Chan’s sculptures reflect her experience with the extreme urbanisation in Hong Kong and are almost always comprised of dumpster detritus household ephemera, and mundane objects from her daily life not generally considered memorable or worth preserving. Derived from an impulse to interrogate these objects’ status and value, Chan imaginatively explores their transformative potential and reconfigures each item according to its unique quality. She purposefully integrates these objects with natural and industrial elements such as mother of pearl tiles and seashells, artificial plants and greenery, asphalt...

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Biography

Leelee Chan was born in 1984 in Hong Kong. She received her MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009 and her BFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. She currently lives and works in Hong Kong.

Chan’s sculptures reflect her experience with the extreme urbanisation in Hong Kong and are almost always comprised of dumpster detritus household ephemera, and mundane objects from her daily life not generally considered memorable or worth preserving. Derived from an impulse to interrogate these objects’ status and value, Chan imaginatively explores their transformative potential and reconfigures each item according to its unique quality. She purposefully integrates these objects with natural and industrial elements such as mother of pearl tiles and seashells, artificial plants and greenery, asphalt and rocks, while preserving each material’s open dignity. Her sculptures evoke Modernist architecture and anthropomorphic shapes embedded with playful and meticulous details that slowly unfold upon close inspection. Chan’s process-based approach embraces unexpected forms that generate a new living entity driven by their own internal logic — poetic, idiosyncratic, and universally intimate.

Her work was exhibited internationally including Tai Kwun Contemporary (Hong Kong), Capsule Shanghai Gallery (Shanghai), Neptune gallery (Hong Kong), Artemis Project Space (York, UK), The Dorado Project (New Jersey, USA), Flux Factory (New York, USA), Parallel Art Space (New York, USA), Sol Koffler Gallery (Providence, USA). Her work was covered by Frieze , Art Forum, Mousse Magazine, Art Asia Pacific, South China Morning Post, Bushwick Daily, Art F City, and The Providence Journal.

Artworks

Spine, 2019

Related Categories

21st Century Art / Art of the 2010s / Asian Art / Chinese Art / Contemporary Asian Art / Contemporary Chinese Art / Daily Life Experience / Everyday Objects / Hong Kong / Individual and Society / Industrial Materials / Preserving Endangered Values / Sculpture / Urbanization / Women Artists

Curriculum Vitae

Education

  • 2009

    MFA Painting (with honors), Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island, US

  • 2006

    BFA Painting, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, US

Selected Exhibitions

  • 2019

    Scaffolds of Meaning / 懒音, Mine Project, Hong Kong

  • Artists’ Night, Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong

  • Core Sample, solo exhibition, Capsule Shanghai gallery, China

Grants/Awards

  • 2018

    Project Grant, Hong Kong Arts Development Council

  • 2013

    Short listed for Van Lier Visual Artist Fellowship, Wave Hill, New York

  • 2007

    MFA Graduate Fellowship, Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island

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Curriculum Vitae

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Education

  • 2009

    MFA Painting (with honors), Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island, US

  • 2006

    BFA Painting, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, US

Selected Exhibitions

  • 2019

    Scaffolds of Meaning / 懒音, Mine Project, Hong Kong

  • Artists’ Night, Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong

  • Core Sample, solo exhibition, Capsule Shanghai gallery, China

  • The Pulse of Nature, Lung Fu Shan Environmental Centre, Hong Kong

  • 2018

    Fan Death in Bedroom, curate by Hera Chan, Bedroom, Hong Kong

  • Rehearsal, curated by Xue Tan, Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong

  • 2017

    The Preservationists, curated by Ingrid Pui Yee Chu, Duddell’s, Hong Kong

  • West Bund Art & Design Fair, Capsule Shanghai gallery, Shanghai

  • Debris Constellation, Neptune, Hong Kong

  • 2015

    Sluice Art Fair, The Dorado Project, London, UK

  • 2014

    JustMAD Emerging Art Fair, The Dorado Project, Madrid, Spain

  • Overseasoned Part Deux, Artemis Project Space, York, UK

  • 2013

    Nocturnes, Parallel Art Space, Brooklyn, New York, US

  • Summer Smoker Series, Tompkins Projects, Brooklyn, New York, US

  • Future Folk, Brooklyn Fireproof, Brooklyn, New York, US

  • That Summer Feeling, Sweatshop Studio, Brooklyn, New York, US

  • 2012

    Stones, Bones and Relics, Brooklyn Fireproof, Brooklyn, New York, US

  • Lines and Shapes, Brooklyn Fireproof, Brooklyn, New York, US

  • 2011

    Faraway Neighbor, Flux Factory, Long Island City, New York, US (catalogue)

  • 2010

    The Drawing Show, Tompkins Projects, Brooklyn, New York, US

  • 2009

    Settlements, Horse Trader Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, US

  • Geography of Imagination, curated by Phong Bui, New York, New York, US

  • Second-year Graduate Selection, Sol Koffler Gallery, Providence, Rhode Island

  • RISD MFA Thesis Exhibition, Rhode Island Convention Center, Rhode Island

  • 2008

    Graduate Painting Exhibition, Sol Koffler Gallery, Providence, Rhode Island, US

  • 2007

    The Discontented Pendulum, G2 Gallery Space, Chicago, Illinois, US

  • 2006

    BFA Graduate Exhibition, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, US

  • The Forth Season Show, Three Seasons Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, US

  • Fort Morgan: One and Only, Fort Morgan, Chicago Illinois, US

  • 2005

    Clune Construction, Nippon Steel, Inc, Chicago, Illinois (catalogue)

  • 2004

    Exquisite Piknik, Doubner Space, Prague, Czech Republic

Grants/Awards

  • 2018

    Project Grant, Hong Kong Arts Development Council

  • 2013

    Short listed for Van Lier Visual Artist Fellowship, Wave Hill, New York

  • 2007

    MFA Graduate Fellowship, Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island

  • 2006

    BFA Graduating Fellowship Award Recipient, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago

  • 2005

    Nippon Steel U.S.A./School of the Art Institute Presidential Awards Competition, Chicago

Publications

  • 2019

    Chan Leelee and Tsang Eunice. 2019. Primal Matter. Artist Book for the Occasion of Core Sample Solo Exhibition in Capsule Shanghai.

  • Chan Leelee. 2019. Imaginary Boundary, in: Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre. 2019. The Pulse of Nature - Mid Levels West. Published by MCCM Creations, pp. 134-147.

Bibliography

  • 2019

    Chan, Abby and Yau, Bonnie. “Leelee Chan: Blurry Boundry” interview in City Magazine. May Issue, 2019, pp. 98-99.

  • Chu, Ingrid. “Egg Cartons, Scavenaged Chandeliers and Broken Teacups: Leelee Chan at Capsule Shanghai”, Frieze. April 11, 2019

  • Wang, Wei. “Leelee Chan: Giving Form to Intangible Ideas, Interview in Art Frontier. March 14, 2019.

  • Meyers, Todd. “Critics’ Picks Shanghai”, Artforum. March 4, 2019.

  • Moioli, Chiara. “Assume Form: Leelee Chan”, interview in Mousse Magazine. February 27, 2019.

  • 2018

    D’Arenberg, Diana. “Shows to See in Hong Kong: The Lowdown”, Ocula. October 19, 2018

  • Sanchez-Kozyreva, Cristina. “Lee Lee Chan: Object Healer”, interview in Cotonoha. October 14, 2018

  • Zhao, Shirley. “Historic Hong Kong Police Compound’s Mystery ‘Rehearsal’ as Future Arts Hub”, South China Morning Post. April 1, 2018

  • Yu, Nick. “The Preservationists”, Art Asia Pacific, Web Review. March 21, 2018

  • Chan, Hera. “The Preservationists”, Frieze. January 16, 2018

  • 2017

    Chu, Ingrid Pui Yee and Li, Erin. “The Preservationists”, Duddell’s Chronicle, Issue 25. December, 2017

  • 2015

    n.a., Square Art Projects + The Dorado Project, Sluice Magazine. Autumn 2015, pp. 74-75.

  • Podgorski, Catrin. “In Coversation With Salt & Powell, The Curatorial Power Collective”, Hardzine. January 6, 2015

  • 2013

    Galgiani, Allison. “Celebrate the Night at Parallel Art Space”, Bushwick Daily. October 16, 2013

  • Galgiani, Allison. “The Big 10 Art Events Happening This Weekend”, Bushwick Daily. October 10, 2013

  • 2012

    Johnson, Paddy and Kimball, Whitney. “Recommended Bushwick Open Studio: Lee Lee Chan”, Art Fag City. June 1, 2012

  • 2009

    Van Siclen, Bill. “RISD Graduate Show Embraces the New Austerity”, The Providence Journal. May 21, 2009

  • 2007

    Salsbury, Britany. “Gallery Reviews: DiscontentedPendulum at G2”, F News Magazine in Chicago. June 16, 2007

  • 2004

    Nippon Steel, Inc. Annual Catalog.