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I’m working on leaving

2022. 7. 15 – 8. 24

Installation view

Tang Contemporary Art is holding the first solo exhibition of STUDIO LENCA (José Campos) in Asia titled “I’m working on leaving”. In the exhibition, the artist will introduce a universal theme of alienation and identity exploring violent discourse, human identity and self-image in the past and present of the colonial era from his own fresh experiences through more than 30 representative works of the artist including ‘Big figures’, ’Moving in landscape’, and ‘Vessels’ Series.

Born in El Salvador, the artist has lived as a stranger in an environment where he could not belong to any group easily with a name tag of a refugee since he left home during the violent civil war in the 1980s, and he has expressed the images of his experiences in rich color with the sensibility and delicate touch unique to the artist.

I’m Working on Leaving, 2022, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 170x200cm

The exhibition begins with a preparation for a journey for survival and searching for oneself with ‘Moving in landscape’. Series showing a truckload of refugees leaving for a new life. The figures in the artworks who are staring forward wearing floppy hats of peculiar colors could be the artist himself and also the portraits of contemporary man living in various kinds of discrimination due to culture, society, region, etc. The facial expression of a man with calm and faint smile represents the heart of immigrants and underprivileged people who are living in the contemporary era in a delicate and beautiful manner being contrasted with the fragile personal experiences of the artist.

Moving Quickly, 2022, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 93x114cm

The objects which comprise the inner world of the artist are expressed metaphorically in the artworks including the image of a bag ready to leave any time, the form of a bird that will lead us to a new place, a stable jar which can be seen easily in the hometown of the artist, etc. The plain touch of the brush of the artist and the rich color reveal himself frankly on the screen and the artist comes to face the inner and outer world with a new viewpoint moving a step forward from the experience of conflicting as a second-class citizen. The symbolic objects and characters are overlapped on one screen and encourage candid and interesting conversation shuttling between tension and relaxation by the soft touch of brush and the lines drawn boldly.

“You can fill yourself confidence and stability by seeing a person like you in an artwork.”
– José Campos –

STUDIO LENCA received a master’s degree in art in 2019 at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is working by the name of ‘STUDIO LENCA’, a combined word of ‘Studio’, which refers to an experimental space and an ever-changing place, and ‘Lenca’, which means the ancestors in his home of El Salvador, introducing a sensuous world of artworks.

Tang Contemporary Art
6, Apgujeong-ro 75-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea
+82 2 3445 8889

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