Clae Lu: Playroom

February 28, 2023 – June 9, 2023
International Studio & Curatorial Program

1040 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Clae Lu, performance documentation from "Protect Asian Lives Rally" at East River Park, 2021. Courtesy of the artist

Clae Lu, performance documentation from "Protect Asian Lives Rally" at East River Park, 2021. Courtesy of the artist

Opening Reception and Performance: Tuesday, February 28, from 6–8pm. During the exhibition opening reception, Clae Lu will perform a selection of experimental compositions on the 古筝 (gu zheng).

The International Studio & Curatorial Program presents Playroom, a solo exhibition of work by Clae Lu, recipient of The New York Community Trust’s Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund residency at ISCP, curated by Kathy Cho. Playroom presents a variety of experimental works that range from painting, to a meditative installation, to sonic compositions on the 古筝 (gu zheng), also known as the Chinese zither. All of these creative practices are meant to create space for and support the artist’s chosen families, their closely connected community.

In recent years Lu has collaborated with fellow artists in experimental music and dance performances. During their residency at ISCP, however, Lu has refocused on their individual practices, returning to mediums and themes that bring pleasure, joy, and comfort. Central to the exhibition is an installation inviting audiences to rest, reflect, and meditate to a sonic playlist created together with musician and sound artist Ben Florencio. The installation serves as an idealized architectural facsimile of the various spaces where Lu seeks out and nurtures communal kinship. A constellation of wall hanging works documents Lu’s everyday life: paintings of a family style meal and of their main instrument, the 古筝 (gu zheng). Dating as far back as 400 BCE, this traditional Chinese string instrument is usually plucked. Lu’s experimental approach to playing it is an intentional act of queering, a reclamation of how the 古筝 (gu zheng) can be understood and explored. Throughout the exhibition, Lu asks, “What does it mean to celebrate the mundane?” and “How does my community come together to create new traditions?”

An additional public program will be announced at a later date before the exhibition closes in June.