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Chan Ka Kiu: Late to the Party

9 September 2023 - 30 September 2023



DE SARTHE is pleased to present Hong Kong-based artist Chan Ka Kiu’s solo exhibition, Late to the Party, concluding the gallery’s seventh annual de Sarthe Artist Residency (deSAR). An exploration of the human psyche vis-à-vis notions of fun, fame, fortune, and mortality, the exhibition features newly developed multimedia and installation artworks that collectively form an immersive journey through the artist’s imagined heaven, earth, and hell. Interspersed with references to religion, art history, contemporary commodities, as well as frivolous desires, the exhibition is a mischievous yet pensive response to the questions “What happens when you die?” and more importantly, “What does it mean to live?”

Late to the Party started with the artist’s contemplation of the notorious “27 Club” – an informal list of popular musicians, artists, actors, and other celebrities who died at age 27. As the exhibition opens right on the verge of the artist’s 28th birthday, its title crafts a self-deprecating remark regarding Ka Kiu’s own desire for celebration and success. Utilizing varied found objects, video footage, and AI-generated imagery, the artist marries the familiar and bizarre in a constructed party-like environment. Filled with fictitious partygoers, the exhibition is an interpretation of what happens to humanity following the rainbow bridge.

With reference to Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights (1503-1515), the space is divided into three fluid areas, bound together by the artist’s use of red lighting and objects. Upon entering the space, a partition composed of floor-to-ceiling blinds separates the viewer from the gallery interior. Titled Peep Please (2023), the exhibition’s first artwork is a wall of red, venetian blinds on which colors reminiscent of a sunset or sunrise are projected. With light partially seeping through its slits, the artwork appears as if a sign or threshold that one must cross to be enlightened of the other side.


Chan Ka Kiu was born in 1995 in Toronto Canada and lives and works in Hong Kong. She received her M.F.A. from City University of Hong Kong, School of Creative Media in 2021.

Chan's art focuses on the intangible and bizarre aspects of everyday life, portraying mundane scenarios as playful puns and honest confessions. Her work balances humor and pathos, leaving a lingering aftertaste that is both bitter and sweet. Drawing on personal experiences and highlighting the absurdity and paradoxes hidden within routine, Chan playfully juxtaposes seemingly unrelated scenarios from daily life and reenacts details that often go unnoticed.

Chan’s solo exhibitions include It’s Always You, K11 Art Mall, Hong Kong, China (2021); You are not alone, RNH Space, Hong Kong, China (2021); and Darling, Don’t Come So Fast, Parasite at Art Basel Hong Kong, China (2019). Her most recent group exhibitions include A Book Act 1, Karin Weber Gallery, Hong Kong, China (2023); HIGH RES WORLD: GOK DOU LIVE, Asia Society at Art Central, Hong Kong, China (2022); Meet Me Under the Cherry Tree, Ground Floor, Vancouver, Canada (2022); ZE/RO, Ben Brown Fine Arts, Hong Kong, China (2021); Very Natural Actions, Tai Kwun JC Contemporary, Hong Kong, China (2019); We [breath] in the space between, ASC MIR Project Space, London, UK (2019); TNDR, Kino Roland, Zurich, Switzerland (2019); and A Tree Feel in the Forest, and No One’s There, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China (2018).


9 September 2023
30 September 2023
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