Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Update from Kevin Kao - MFA Thesis

"Fallacies" MFA Exhibition, May 2015

Hello! Its been a busy year thus far. The majority of my focus has been on creating my thesis exhibition. Much of the show looks at a structured sense of seduction and desire. Specifically looking at how attraction is an extension of how we perceive our bodies. These ideas really stemmed from some of the hair studies that I had created while at Alfred's studio intensive program last summer. Thank you for the support of the Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award and all of the donors who have made this possible. 

Hair Bun Studies

Plop, a part-made study
Terra Cotta hair study

I think of hair as both something beautiful and grotesque, but above all, a quality that describes every single person. It's intrinsically you, as detritus and as hairstyle. Throughout history, it has been a marker for style, taste, value, and social class. The notion of part-making and interchangeable parts became an important factor as it draws from a history of Chinese ceramics (e.g. the terracotta army). It speaks to the significance of individuality, the hand-made, and the specialness of an object.

Press-molded works in progress

I think of the project as a way of looking at the individual and the collective. On one hand, the individuality gives meaning to one thing — its history, its context. However, against the sea of other objects, it loses its uniqueness to seriality. The collection negates, and absorbs the individual. 

Reinforcing this idea of seduction, the 104 ceramic sculptures are ambiguously hair, fruit and sex-toy. These "objects of lust" are rendered on a mirror-like platform, set close to the ground. A play on black on black, the sensualness of the work is hyper-accentuated.

For more information about the show or my work, please visit my website:

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