Spencer Lai at Kimberly-Klark

Artist: Spencer Lai

Exhibition title: Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole

Venue: Kimberly-Klark, New York, US

Date: January 12 – February 11, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Kimberly-Klark, New York

I.

And so the stench of slaughtered criminals rose from the cobbled streets of the TOWN SQUARE.

At times, the wind carries the fetid scent into nearby stores. The merchants complain of the odour ruining business, repelling customers from purchasing goods and exchanging money for various services.

The TOWN SQUARE is a flat, ground level opening hedged by tall, hexagonal buildings with fabulous living-chambers. Over hundreds of years of rapidly shifting climate rising sea levels due to geographical disposition, moon phases etc, part of the TOWN SQUARE is encased with barnacles and mollusk husks, clinging to the bases of the buildings. Many layers of criminal blood seal the marine life to the buildings, marrying the elements in a sanctimonious bond.

The hexagonal complexes surrounding the TOWN SQUARE garnered much attention and foot traffic as it was an affordable yet for cosy living solution with close proximity to the centre of the civilisation.

In a room of a HEXAGONAL CHAMBER ROOM, people occupy the centre of the room, forming the INNER PERIMETER. Others less inclined to participate in the event (reasons may include: fatigue, hunger, boredom etc.) line the walls of the space, creating the OUTER PERIMETER. Some have their backs turned to others, alone. Some choose to use their energies to speak to others, forming DISCUSSION. The OUTER PERIMETER speak in a pointed yet languid manner, preferencing dialogue relating to CUISINE, ADMINISTRATION DUTIES, FUTURE PLANS FOR TRAVEL. Inflammatory comments, punctuated by SNICKERING, NODDING and LAUGHER are made, in relation to others, are formulated by the INNER PERIMETER.

Lining the walls of the HEXAGONAL CHAMBER ROOM are a series of technical drawings depicting WHITE DOVES in various states of repose. The series comprises of a dozen or so drawings, hung evenly in a straight line. The DOVES are arguably a symbol of peace and unity. The drawings are rendered in coloured Derwent pencils — it is clear that the hand which has drawn the doves is highly skilled. It is said that the drawings are meticulously worked over during what is called ‘a difficult time’ for the creator.

A beetle emerges from the earth’s soil, burrowing from the depths of the underground. When the beetle becomes unearthed it is then drenched with rain. Swollen clouds burst and enshroud the town in water-rain, a sure blessing which will reap a bountiful harvest.

Past the TOWN SQUARE, tacit figures are huddled around the gentle animal. The animal is gentle and kind because we can see that it offers an expression of serenity and foreboding, for the gentle animal kneels on its forelegs, and at once unfolding as sacrificial and also reverent and peace-full, and is such a two-dimensioned being, revealing with which such as a two-faced SCIMITAR.

And so then forty thousand years ago, a figure, indistinct and partially obscured by peppercorn trees, unearths large amounts of soil in a large, open field. The land is uneven; a series of large excavations pockmark the dry, arid landscape. The figure toils the earth’s furtive surface with a provisional tool: an intricately bound selection of bamboo pieces, clay, woven reeds and a sharpened crescent-shaped rock, filed to a incisive edge. The tool is menacing in its appearance, yet gracefully constructed. Noted: it is adorned with interesting usary of organic matter (kelp, shamrocks, ginger root etc) elevating its objecthood from pure functionality, flirting with the soft-edged realm of design.

The tool is raised in the air and with a swift arc is driven down into the earth’s damp surface, wetted with summer rain. A note: this is years before controlled flooding, agricultural systemic formations of grid, too. The figure ceases, entering a state of rest from the day’s activities. Resting under a peppercorn tree, the figure could be said to have the series of thoughts:

FOOD
SHELTER
REST

II.

And so the clergy only steals with strong healthy people makes work, through the himmottisying, again as far as the servants of the clergy are concerned, the people too diffuse, those are the fortune-tellers, that’s what happens when the man keeps his mouth shut, the voice then continues, is to say ventriloquist what other people are given fears, the poor man brings a fury, when he is in the middle he loses his strength, so the hungry people are strongly urged by the doctor to eat heartily — so one question, so all animals are related with human spirit but only thereby since the human spirit more effectively on the animals pulls up to do the human sounds to live to insight the animals in the spirit soul innocence in humans understand to judge the animals on earth for thunderstorm shy like human farm to the animals the spirit for people from the country animal one keeps

– Karl Brendel, diary entries C. 1910-15

III.

stomach acid dissolves a buoyant, precious croissant. Some number of civilisations are destroyed over thousands of years. There are many beautiful goods.

Spencer Lai, Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole, 2018, exhibition view, Kimberly-Klark, New York

Spencer Lai, Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole, 2018, exhibition view, Kimberly-Klark, New York

Spencer Lai, Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole, 2018, exhibition view, Kimberly-Klark, New York

Spencer Lai, red (stairway), 2017, Synthetic felt, adhesive

Spencer Lai, red (stairway), 2017, Synthetic felt, adhesive

Spencer Lai, The gentle animal, 2017-2018, Balsa foam carving

Spencer Lai, Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole, 2018, exhibition view, Kimberly-Klark, New York

Spencer Lai, Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole, 2018, exhibition view, Kimberly-Klark, New York

Spencer Lai, blue (domestic recreation/rest), 2017, Synthetic felt, adhesive

Spencer Lai, blue (domestic recreation/rest), 2017, Synthetic felt, adhesive

Spencer Lai, untitled, 2017-2018, 19th Century hemacite door handles (chemical compound of animal blood and sawdust)

Spencer Lai, Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole, 2018, exhibition view, Kimberly-Klark, New York

Spencer Lai, Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole, 2018, exhibition view, Kimberly-Klark, New York

Spencer Lai, untitled, 2017-2018, 19th Century hemacite door handles (chemical compound of animal blood and sawdust)

Spencer Lai, The caged animal with parent animal. The animals are together resting, 2017-2018, Balsa foam carving

Spencer Lai, Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole, 2018, exhibition view, Kimberly-Klark, New York

Spencer Lai, Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole, 2018, exhibition view, Kimberly-Klark, New York

Spencer Lai, pink (mechanism), 2017, Synthetic felt, adhesive

Spencer Lai, pink (mechanism), 2017, Synthetic felt, adhesive

Spencer Lai, deficit II, 2018, Metal shelving components, styrofoam, crab shell, highlighter, antique Chinese snuff bottle (carved bone), Oscar de la Renta 1990 runway show notes inserts, tape, starfish, gift box, graphite, drywall shaving, costume “jelly belly” vintage fur clip C. 1950s

Spencer Lai, deficit II, 2018, Metal shelving components, styrofoam, crab shell, highlighter, antique Chinese snuff bottle (carved bone), Oscar de la Renta 1990 runway show notes inserts, tape, starfish, gift box, graphite, drywall shaving, costume “jelly belly” vintage fur clip C. 1950s

Spencer Lai, deficit II, 2018, Metal shelving components, styrofoam, crab shell, highlighter, antique Chinese snuff bottle (carved bone), Oscar de la Renta 1990 runway show notes inserts, tape, starfish, gift box, graphite, drywall shaving, costume “jelly belly” vintage fur clip C. 1950s

Spencer Lai, deficit II, 2018, Metal shelving components, styrofoam, crab shell, highlighter, antique Chinese snuff bottle (carved bone), Oscar de la Renta 1990 runway show notes inserts, tape, starfish, gift box, graphite, drywall shaving, costume “jelly belly” vintage fur clip C. 1950s

Spencer Lai, deficit II, 2018, Metal shelving components, styrofoam, crab shell, highlighter, antique Chinese snuff bottle (carved bone), Oscar de la Renta 1990 runway show notes inserts, tape, starfish, gift box, graphite, drywall shaving, costume “jelly belly” vintage fur clip C. 1950s

Spencer Lai, deficit II, 2018, Metal shelving components, styrofoam, crab shell, highlighter, antique Chinese snuff bottle (carved bone), Oscar de la Renta 1990 runway show notes inserts, tape, starfish, gift box, graphite, drywall shaving, costume “jelly belly” vintage fur clip C. 1950s

Spencer Lai, deficit II, 2018, Metal shelving components, styrofoam, crab shell, highlighter, antique Chinese snuff bottle (carved bone), Oscar de la Renta 1990 runway show notes inserts, tape, starfish, gift box, graphite, drywall shaving, costume “jelly belly” vintage fur clip C. 1950s

Spencer Lai, Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole, 2018, exhibition view, Kimberly-Klark, New York

Spencer Lai, Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole, 2018, exhibition view, Kimberly-Klark, New York

Spencer Lai, burnt sienna (embrace), 2017, Synthetic felt, adhesive

Spencer Lai, green (NASCAR/illustration scenario), 2017, Synthetic felt, adhesive

Spencer Lai, Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole, 2018, exhibition view, Kimberly-Klark, New York

Spencer Lai, Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole, 2018, exhibition view, Kimberly-Klark, New York

Spencer Lai, Place of resting, storing of energy. Otherwise resting, 2017, Balsa foam carving

Spencer Lai, Untitled, 2018, Leather shirt (gifted from Jessie Kiely), crab claw, counterfeit Dior purse hardware, plastic

Spencer Lai, deficit, 2018, Giorgio Armani 1990-1991 catalogue, metal shelving components, 1960s Bakelite napkin holder, sunflower stems, tape, starfish, matchsticks, elastic bands, polystyrene craft balls, crab shell, beads, berry pins, sequins, wood, resin beads

Spencer Lai, deficit, 2018, Giorgio Armani 1990-1991 catalogue, metal shelving components, 1960s Bakelite napkin holder, sunflower stems, tape, starfish, matchsticks, elastic bands, polystyrene craft balls, crab shell, beads, berry pins, sequins, wood, resin beads

Spencer Lai, deficit, 2018, Giorgio Armani 1990-1991 catalogue, metal shelving components, 1960s Bakelite napkin holder, sunflower stems, tape, starfish, matchsticks, elastic bands, polystyrene craft balls, crab shell, beads, berry pins, sequins, wood, resin beads

Spencer Lai, untitled, 2018, Oscar de la Renta runway show notes inserts and checklist, masking tape, resin beads

Spencer Lai, untitled, 2018, Oscar de la Renta runway show notes inserts and checklist, masking tape, resin beads

Spencer Lai, untitled, 2018, Oscar de la Renta runway show notes inserts and checklist, masking tape, resin beads

Spencer Lai, untitled, 2018, Oscar de la Renta runway show notes inserts and checklist, masking tape, resin beads

Spencer Lai, Air becomes metallic scented as anger is emitted, a bounding animal halts as blood in crimson unfurls in still waterhole, 2018, exhibition view, Kimberly-Klark, New York

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