KV is a London based artist who draws from personal experiences growing up in Saigon, Toronto and London to explore the integration and conflict of Eastern and Western cultures and values. There is a sense of urgency and vulnerability in the artist’s explorative use of material and texture: works on packaging cardboard are a tribute his parents’ factory work in Canada; works on carbon fibre polymer are reflective of his structural engineering background; works on mulberry paper and ink are inspired by the mediums used by the Asian calligraphy masters.
Upon entering the RB12 ground floor design space, the viewer is confronted by a 4 mins video clip of ‘Rise’ - KV’s live body painting performance from his solo exhibition last autumn at the Streatham Space Project. The carbon fibre hanging mobile ‘Man vs Man’ touches on society’s ideas of masculinity. At the foot of the stair case hangs the ‘Family Pillars’ series; the Chinese poem is titled ‘Looking At The Moon And Thinking Of One Far Away’, the essence of which is about missing one’s family or lover at a full-moon night. In a quiet corner the drawing ‘Passage to Refuge’ hints on his family’s migration background and the ongoing migrant crisis. And finally the title piece ‘Letter to my younger self’ is an intimate glimpse into the artist’s early struggle with his sexuality.