2K 5.0 (On the Crown of a Silver Maple)



2K 5.0 (On the Crown of a Silver Maple)
A collaboration by Kai Chan and Lee Ka-sing

Direct order from BLURB, book-on-demand
268 pages, 8x10 inch, soft cover, CAN$90

Ebook edition
available at OCEAN POUNDS online shop
download pdf file, US$5



More about the book


written by Yam Lau

KK, a pair of initials; a mode of recognition between friends. The project “KK” arises from a friendship between two artists, Kai Chan and Lee Ka-sing. KK can be taken to signify “K and K”, “K+K”, or “K和 K”; each of these conjunctions works to join the two Ks, and to activate the generative potential of KK’s friendship.

The rule of KK is simple: one image elicits a corresponding image to produce a chain of paired images. Each image is a response to and a deviation from the previous image. Each image also serves to set up for the next image, and hearkens back to the earlier images. Images reverberate, moving forward and backward. In this chain of echoing, we see the entwining of K with K.

The aesthetic logic of KK is affirmed by the manner in which it unfolds. I imagine the unfolding of KK transcending the lateral direction of the codex book. Perhaps KK can also multiply vertically, diagonally, or omnidirectionally. I look up, down and sideways for other traces. The book entitled KK is not an end, but a beginning: a bounded field that opens onto a vast region of concordance, where art can range to illustrate the breath of a friendship, where art overflows itself through the recognition of two friends.


The Fifth Chapter, ‘2K 5.0’

This marks the fifth chapter of ‘2K,’ a collaboration with Kai, an exhibition project that we planned to create once a year. It was titled ‘2K’ simply because our names share the initial ‘K’. To some extent, the letter “K” stretches like a truck and the branches of a tree, symbolizing life’s relentless journey. There’s a hidden joke that not many can catch: in Cantonese slang, ‘K頭仔’  translates to ‘slaphead naughty boy.’ While we’re not teenagers, a touch of mischief still lingers. Kai is 83, and I’m nearly 70. Yes, the bald part is indeed true.

A few months back, I suggested to Kai that, our collaboration this time should be on paper and culminated in a book. We kicked off the project in April 2023. The approach was simple: Kai would contribute a piece, and I’d respond, back and forth. In the book’s layout, Kai’s work would always be on the left, and mine on the right-hand side.

I stressed to Kai that this was a dialogue, not a portfolio showcase. We were meant to use materials and fragments we had on hand to engage in a conversation. Hopefully, K, with the last response would trigger a new thought in the other K.

Upon reaching halfway of the project, I approached our friend Yam to gauge his interest in writing about our project, as it was set to be published in DOUBLE DOUBLE. He agreed and sent his piece before heading off to his exhibition in Mexico. His writing turned out to be a gem.

(Lee Ka-sing, 2023)