Return to Sender
Exhibition: 4 Sep – 20 Oct 2019
Wed 4 Sep 18:00
LMAKgallery / LMAKbooks+design
298 Grand Street
NY 10002 New York
LMAKgallery is pleased to start off our Fall season with Tommy Kha’s Return to Sender opening Wednesday September 4, 2019. This is Kha’s debut solo at LMAKgallery. Featuring three bodies of works that have not been seen in New York, Kha’s ability to maneuver a camera, direct and function as model to best show his uncanny ability to explore a concept of intimacy and otherness.
Return to Sender (AKA - The Kissing Series) explores these ideas of intimacy, the role of the photographer in self-portraiture, and the ways in which Asians and Queer bodies are portrayed in western culture. In this exhibition, a group of 4 x 6 inches photographs are mounted and displayed in rows, while next to a wall vinyl image that folds in the corner at the point of the kiss. On top of the vinyl print, a series of kissing frames have been stacked to create a collage of visual plains. The exhibition culminates to a slide-projections, which documents of the numerous engagements. Kha’s work has to do with roles that, in varied ways, are defined by cultural indifference along with the experience of apartness.
The other series titled All Kings Jump Ships, pictures from an aftermath of unseen performances that demonstrate Kha’s play of light and shadow and create iconic imagery. He is able to capture frailty, humility and tenderness through mostly inanimate objects, except for a sparse figure here or there. Connecting to the viewer through recognizable moments that are rarely made visible as he leaves these raw moments beautifully exposed.
To tie the two series together Us part of A Real Imitation is featured as it embodies the artist’s sense of otherness and offers to be a bridge between the two narratives of performance and experience.
Tommy Kha (b. 1988, Memphis, Tennessee) received his BFA in Photography from Memphis College of Art and his Photography MFA from Yale University.
His work has been published in Vice, Modern Painters, Humble Arts, Slate, the Huffington Post, BUTT Magazine, Hyperallergic, Buzzfeed, and Miranda July’s “We Think Alone” and exhibited at LMAKgallery, Launch F18, Norwood Club, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Blue Sky, Teen Party, Deli Gallery, Foley Gallery, Georgia Scherman Projects, Aperture, Johalla Projects, Yongkang Lu Art, and Kunstverein Wolfsburg.
He is a Hyères Photography Grand Prix Finalist, an En Foco Photography Fellowship recipient, and formerly artist-in-residence through the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Light Work, Fountainhead, and most recently at the Camera Club of New York. Through Aint-Bad Editions, Kha published his first monograph, A Real Imitation. He appeared in Laurie Simmons’ narrative feature, My Art. Recently, he appeared on the cover of Vice Magazine’s 2017 Photography Issue. His next book, Soft Murders, will be released in the Fall 2019 along with his first solo exhibition at the gallery.
His first solo show occurred at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon, which was followed by his New York solo debut at the Camera Club of New York in May 2019.
He currently lives and works between New York City and Memphis