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Ken Lum

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What is power in monument and memory? Chinese-Canadian artist Ken Lum has spent 30 years exploring the tension between our own personal experience, and how others categorize us.

He first gained international recognition for his Furniture Sculpture featured in Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s, a series in which he arranged found manufactured furniture in forbidding installations. Today, he is known for his conceptual and representational work across various media, especially public art.

Lum recently co-curated Philadelphia’s Monument Lab, a public art exhibition that invited a group of diverse artists to prototype new monuments throughout the city, in a time when history is increasingly traumatic, reimagining who and what is worthy of commemoration. The public submitted their own ideas, as well, with more than 4,000 submissions.

A longtime professor, he serves as the Chair of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design in Philadelphia and is a prolific writer with numerous published articles, catalogue essays and juried papers.  Lum will be joined by Barnard College professor Alexander Alberro to discuss the impactful range of his practice, from found object sculptures to monumental public projects.

Made possible with support from the Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC.


March 29, 2018
7:00 pm–8:00 pm
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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Hirshhorn Museum, Independence Ave SW & 7th St SW
Washington, DC 20560 United States
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Location detail
Lerner room