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Phillip Lai

Phillip Lai (b. 1969, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) invites us to contemplate the economies at play in the material world. He combines everyday objects with his own laborious re-makings of them to examine the different roles objects can take on and the ways we relate to them in contemporary life. Lai exhibits internationally and has had major solo exhibitions at Camden Arts Centre in 2014 and Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London, in 2016. The artist has been a lecturer at Goldsmiths since 2001.

In his most recent works, he highlights the various chains of making and consuming materials today, and for accumulating and disposing of objects. One of his major concerns is the nature of waste, noting that a whole industry has grown in the last twenty years around the economy of throwing away – highlighting the continuous chain between production and loss, between consuming and destroying.

His recent solo exhibitions include Besides, Camden Arts Centre, London (2014) and Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2009). He studied both MA and BA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London.

‘I’m really surprised and delighted to be asked to be involved in the second incarnation of The Hepworth Prize, especially with such amazing company. I hope the show that we will produce will celebrate some of the many very different mindsets and realities that sculptural practice is, and also reveal its unique focus and concentration.’

Phillip Lai, Untitled, 2017. Cast polyurethane rubber, cast polyurethane resin, concrete, metal fixings, 159 x 154 cm. Courtesy the artist & Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London
Phillip Lai, Untitled, 2017. Cast polyurethane bowls, concrete, laminated plywood, timber, lamp holder, bulb, 83.5 x 208.5 x 59.9 cm. Courtesy the artist & Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London

Related exhibitions & events

The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture

26 Oct 2018 - 20 Jan 2019

The second Hepworth Prize for Sculpture exhibition presents art work by the shortlisted artists Michael Dean, Mona Hatoum, Phillip Lai, Magali Reus and Cerith Wyn Evans.

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Further Reading


Shortlist announced for second The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture

On Thursday 22 March, The Hepworth Wakefield announced the five artists nominated for the second The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture.

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