FLORA KAO: LINES OF DESIRE
September 10-27, 2012
SOLO SHOW RECEPTION Wednesday September 19 5-9pm
Art-merge | LAB
Pacific Design Center
687 Melrose Avenue
Suite B256 (Blue buildling/2nd Floor)
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Mon-Fri 11-5pm, Sat-Sun by appointment
Lines of Desire is a solo exhibition of installation and painting by Los Angeles based artist Flora Kao. Through repeated actions like sewing, crotchet, and the obsessive layering of source material, Kao’s art hovers at the edge of restraint and collapse, appearing to come together and fall apart simultaneously. In overlaying time, place, and personal memory, the artist explores the human impulse to apply order to chaos in an attempt to control the uncontrollable.
Central to the exhibition is Net, a diaphanous undulating form crocheted from a mile of vinyl tubing and spanning 200 square feet. Drawn from the artist’s memory of the passing of her grandfather, the installation stands as part memorial and part meditation. In both the piece itself and in the colliding shadows it casts on the walls of the gallery, Net translates the trauma of witnessing incommensurable suffering into a visceral moment of stark and haunting beauty.
In a second installation piece titled Blanket, Kao engages in the futile action of sewing a moss blanket in a desperate attempt to preserve the transient beauty of nature. Tenuously suspended and preserved, fallen moss calls attention to the inescapable forces of natural phenomena like decay and gravity.
In addition to the installations, Kao exhibits a series of works on paper that examine the lines made by the movement of bodies in space. By obsessively overlaying the Los Angeles street grid upon itself, Kao creates imagined topographies of landscape and textile. Employing a process that oscillates between accident and control, the handmade and the mechanical, Kao plays with perception and visual slippage.
Flipping between night sky and cityscape, City of Angels is comprised of hundreds overlays of the LA street-grid on tarpaper. An essential building material of suburban roofs and asphalt, tar points to Southern California’s insatiable need for petroleum. Likewise, Trace utilizes the layering process to underscore the varied experiences of the city, from crisp repeated overlay to blurred and fading impressions. Hand embossed on cotton rag paper, Knit/Unraveling captures the physical trace of a net as it unravels over time.