Ken Lum

Ken Lum Cheeseburger 2011
Plexiglas, chromogenic print, aluminum, enamel, 196 x 257 x 5 cm


Ken Lum, born in 1956, is an internationally active artist based in Vancouver. His work approaches everyday social structures with a critical eye and an ironic sense of humor, traversing a wide variety of media that includes photography, sculpture, painting and installation.

LUM’s art is concerned with the ways in which identity formation intersects with society’s transformation. This focus is deeply connected to his birth to Chinese immigrant parents in Vancouver, a city of numerous ethnic groups. In his works which use the visual language of public signage, billboards, logos and the mass media, he aims to demystify the tensions and contradictions of living in an increasingly globalizing world. His chosen approach continues to question the very nature of culture in contemporary society, by dismantling pleasant phrasings and blurring the boundaries between high art and popular culture.

LUM has represented Canada at numerous international exhibitions including DOCUMENTA 11 (2002), the Istanbul Biennial (2007), and the Gwangju Biennial (2008). In addition to working on large-scale public art work in places like Canada and Europe, he has curated the show “The Short Century” (2001) in collaboration with curator Okwui ENWEZOR.


Ken Lum
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Born in 1956 in Vancouver, Canada
Lives and works in Philadelphia, USA

– Selected Solo Exhibitions –

2018  What’s old is old for a dog, The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, USA
2017  A Matter of Life and Death,Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga, Canada
2016  Necrology, Base Progetti per l’Arte, Firenze, Italy
2016  Espacios Revalados/Changing Places: Torres de tajamar,Siemens Stiftung/Chilean Cultural Council for the Arts, Santiago, Chile
2015  Ken Lum. Coming Soon, Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz, Vienna, Austria
2015  KEN LUM is an Artist: work from the last 30 years, Royale Projects: Contemporary Art, California, USA
2014  KEN LUM/CAUSA: CENTRE/SURROUND, Irving K Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Anvil Centre, New Westminster, Canada
2014  Ken Lum: The Mini Mall Series, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, USA
2013  Ken Lum:The Mini-Mall Series, Marc Jancou Contemporary, New York, USA
2012  Ken Lum: The Shopkeeper series, Marc Jancou Contemporary Geneva, Switzerland
2012  Ken Lum, L.A. Galerie Lothar Albrecht, Frankfurt, Germany
2012  Galerie Nelson-Freeman, Paris, France
2011  Ken LUM: 2000s to Present, MISA SHIN GALLERY, Tokyo, Japan
2011  Ken Lum, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2010  from shangri-la to shangri-la, Vancouver Art Gallery Offsite, Vancouver, Canada
2009  Galerie Christian Nagel, Berlin, Germany
2009  Works and Videos, Galerie Lothar Albrecht, Frankfurt, Germany
2008  Galerie Christian Nagel, Berlin, Germany
2008  Galerie Nelson-Freeman, Paris, France
2008  Galeria Llucia Homs, Barcelona, Spain
2008  Ken Lum: Rorschach Shopkeepers, Galerie Grita Insam, Vienna, Austria
2007  Centro de Arte Contemporáneo De Huarte, Navarro, Spain
2007  Chosun Gallery, Seoul, Korea
2007  Ken Lum: Rorschach Shopkeeper Series, Galerie Lothar Albrecht, Frankfurt, Germany
2007  Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing, China

– Selected Group Exhibitions –

2018  Readymades Belong to Everyone, Swiss Institute Contemporary Art, New York, USA
2018  Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, USA
2017  Sites of Assembly, Walter C. Koerner Library, University of British Columbia, Canada
2017  Transcending Signs: Ken Lum and Panchal Mansaram, Art Gallery of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
2017  Photography in Canada: 1960 – 2000, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
2016  Construction_Reflection: Works from the Collection Gertraud & Dieter Bogner at Mumok, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria
2016  Behold the Man: 100 years, 100 faces, Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle, The Netherlands
2016  Wall to Wall: Carpets by Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, USA
2016  Masterworks from the Audain Art Museum, Audain Art Museum, Whistler, Canada
2016  Where it as ifWitte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, Netherlands
2016  Do you, Ms Jones?, Rosewald-Wolf Gallery, Philadelphia,USA
2016  Ken Lum, Sophie Ris, Galerie Porte 10 CHU – Hôpiaux de Rouen, France
2015  The Road Not Taken, Misa Shin Gallery, Tokyo
2015  Regarding Spectatorship: Revolt and the Distant Observer, Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
2015  Fascination Photography, Essl Museum Contemporary Art, Klosterneuburg, Austria
2015  Inventry, Vol. 5, Acquisitions from 1992 to 1996, FRAC Haute-Normandie, France
2014  AMNUA International Project-In | Out Source, Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Art AMNUA, Nanjing, China
2014  ARCO Foundation Collection, CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid, Spain
2014  NEW GENERATION, FRAC/AP2, Dunkirk, France
2014  Punctum:Reflections on Photography, Salzburger Kunstverein, Austria
2014  On Stage: Recent Acquisitions, Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada
2014  DETROIT CITY: people’s Biennial 2014, Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, Detroit, MI, USA
2014  Attention Economy, Kunstshalle Wien Museumsquartie, Vienna, Austria
2014  Whitney Biennial 2014, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
2013  NEUE WARE, Galerie Christian Nagel, Köln, Germany
2013  The River Between Us, Laumeier Sculpture Park, St Louis, USA; Longue Vue House & Gardens, Louisiana, USA
2013  CONTINENTAL DRIFT: Conceptual Art in Canada, The 1960s and 70s, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany
2011  One Suitcase Per Person: David Diao, Ken Lum, Hiram To, 1a Space, Hong Kong
2011  4th Moscow Biennial, Moscow, Russia
2011  ConText – Bild und Text, L.A. Galerie Lothar Albrecht, Frankfurt, Germany
2010  Hey, We’re Closed!, Hayward Gallery, London, UK
2010  Art Moves Festival, Toruń, Poland
2010  Back to the future?, Osage Gallery Soho, Hong Kong
2010  Checking in with your hotspots, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, UK
2010  Hold Still Wild Youth: GINA Show, Or Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2010  I don’t know whether to laugh of cry, Museum London, London, Ontario, Canada
2010  Nether Land, Dutch Culture Center, Shanghai , China (Organized by Witte de With, Rotterdam)
2009  Accrochage, Galerie Grita Insam, Vienna, Austria
2009  Common History and its Private Stories: Geschichte und Geschichten, MUSA, Vienna, Austria
2009  Herrlich Weiblich! Befragungen des Weiblichen, DZ Bank Kunstsammlung, Frankfurt, Germany
2009  Just Around the Corner, Arrow Factory, Beijing,China
2009  Sign/ Age: Fight the Power, Armand Bartos Fine Art, New York, USA
2009  The Jerusalem Syndrome, Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem, Israel
2008  2nd Biennial of the Canary Islands, Las Palmas, Spain
2008  7th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea
2008  Beautiful People et la blessure secrète, Centre Rhenan d’art contemporain, Alsace, Altkirch, France; Centre d’Art La Plenara, Lérida, Spain
2008  Let Me Be Your Mirror, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
2008  Pleinairism, i8 Gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland


The Road Not Taken
AI Weiwei, Ken LUM, OZAWA Tsuyoshi, TOMATSU Shomei
Nov 27, 2015 – Jan 30, 2016

2000s to Present
Dec 15, 2011 – Mar 3, 2012

Artist website

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