PEI-CHI LEE SOLO SHOW REVIEW . HACKNEY DEPOT . LONDON . 2022
Upon entering, industrial piping, half-raised walls and salmon pink-coloured curtains delineate the space. On the floor, three square puzzles of concrete tiles lay proudly. It feels as if something is about to begin. Endearing and inviting, the performative curation tells us that we are here to experience the (non-) place.
Anthropologist Marc Augé describes the notion of non-places as spaces that inherently doesn’t hold enough substance for human to be present and identified. Areas of passage, forgotten places, unnoticed moments, they carry our lives in unison with our milestones. Their temporospatial impermanence, ambiguity and anonymity mediates transitory instances.
In her first solo show, London-based artist Pei-Chi Lee explores her own idea of non-place as “a catalyst”. Where the lost things go unveils a tangible representation of the transient moments of snippets of her life. Mixing concrete with stones and debris collected while commuting to her studio in East London, she beautifully materialise the in/visible sites of her journey that led her from A to B.
As agents of transition, for Lee, the elusive nature of non-places anchors the enfolding of mundane life events. An interpretation that she translates though pavement-size illustrated tiles. Playing with irregularity and texture, her installation invite the viewer to pause, touch, feel and reflect on their own idea of a non-place.
Addressing concepts of identity, her playful engraved stories reminds us that the intimate and shared moments of life are neither here nor there but always fleeting and shifting. Yet, together, the tiles evoke that, what is moving stay, what is gone perdure and what is lost is still there.