The importance placed on mundane objects and structures has led artist Susan Lee-Chun to investigate origin, meaning and representation.
Her recent works take an anthropological approach to figuratively explore themes of identity and representation politics: through the excavation of a terrain, we experience the curiosity of origin and meaning attached to the discovery of “artifacts”. The extraction and display of these artifacts (and ideas) deeply buried in our social fabric, portray a surface interest and yearning to find a link to what they could mean or have meant to people at different times.
In this exhibition, Lee-Chun presents a series of replicas of garments and accessories enlarged to at least 10 times their actual size. These artifacts function as fabricated representations of place, time, and experience, and their scale makes it difficult to ignore, discard, or bury ideas in the closet.
These tangible souvenirs prolong the tourist experience and allow for the symbolic appropriation of tourist destinations. In this instance, Miami Beach, with its world-famous beaches, is laden with tourist-driven signifiers of “the good life”– palm trees, sunsets, flamingos, and nightlife – in the city’s signature neon electric hues.
These “artifacts” encapsulate the memory of one’s travel experience and also reinforce the image of the city as both commercial product and cultural stereotype.