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Everything is Relevant
Writings on Art and Life, 1991-2018
By (author): Ken Lum
9781988111001 Paperback, Trade English General Trade ART / Canadian Jan 31, 2020
$54.95 CAD
Forthcoming 7.5 x 11 x 1 in | 750 gr 320 pages 12 colour illus,. 48 b&w illus. Concordia University Press

A compelling and illuminating collection of Canadian artist Ken Lum’s diverse writings from the early 1990s to the present.



Everything is Relevant: Writings on Art and Life, 1991-2018 brings together texts by Canadian artist Ken Lum. They include a letter to an editor, diary entries, articles, catalogue essays, curatorial statements, and more. Along the way, the reader learns about late modern, postmodern, and contemporary art practices, as well as debates around issues like race, class, and monumentality. Penetrating, insightful, and often moving, Lum’s writings are essential for understanding his varied practice, which has often been prescient of developments within contemporary art.

  • This is the first book published by Concordia University Press
  • Ken Lum is a prolific and well-known Canadian artist, spending many years in Vancouver (and still calls Vancouver home).
  • Ken Lum is responsible for "Monument for East Vancouver," the large East Van cross which is very recognizable.
  • This is a compilation of some of his writings from 1991 and 2018, including scholarly writings, essays, opinion pieces, letters to the editor, diary entries—about art, race, class, etc.

Vancouver-born artist Ken Lum is known for his conceptual and representational art in a number of media, including painting, sculpture, and photography. He currently is the Chair of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and he previously taught at Bard College and at the University of British Columbia. As an artist, he has exhibited at Documenta 11, the Venice Biennale, Shanghai Biennale, Carnegie International, and Whitney Biennial, among others. He is a co-founder and founding editor of Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art and in 2000 he worked as co-editor of the Shanghai Biennale. He is co-curator of Monument Lab: A Public Art and History Project in Philadelphia. In 2017, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Kitty Scott is Carol and Morton Rapp Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

While the writings in this volume obliquely elucidate the thinking process that informs Ken Lum's artistic production and provide interesting interpretations of the art of the artists they feature, they also represent contemporary art’s gasping for air in the context of the increasing pressure from what in the past thirty or so years has come to be defined as the globalization of the art world. As such, the texts stand as important historical documents of what was at stake in art in the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries.

- Alexander Alberro, author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity

Lum is a keen and prescient observer of the art world and of global society more broadly. He is one of the most significant art writers of our time.

- Mark A. Cheetham, author of Landscape into Eco Art: Articulations of Nature since the ‘60s

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