Ken Lum: You Can’t See Me! book cover
Benefit Year
Courtesy of
The artist. Printed by Micah Danges, Philadelphia
Archival Inkjet on Canson Rag Photographique Paper (310 gsm)
28.75" × 22"
Edition of
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“The image for this work was taken in Paris sometime between 1995 to 1997 when I taught as a Professor at the l’Ecole des Beaux Arts, France’s most important art school located directly across from the Louvre Museum on the Left Bank of the river Seine and converted from a former monastery.  The courtyard setting is part of the l’Ecole.  I took a number of pictures at the time, some with the graphic component fully designed.  Most of the works were never realized beyond mockups.  My original text for this picture was a literalized text of the little girl giggling.  A couple of months ago, my wife Paloma perused through my old transparencies and asked the outcome of them.  I found myself rediscovering a number of images I had taken over 30 years ago.  One of the images was this one of a girl crouched behind a statue.  I went about designing a new text for the image.  I liked the idea of the text playing on the notion of disappearance and appearance or absence and presence, that what one can’t see does not mean it is not there.  I thought of how art performs as something that incorporates not just what you see but also what you don’t see. Art can speak the unspeakable, it can generate feelings and tap into memories and thoughts in palpable rather than explicit ways.” – Ken Lum