”House of Realization” is an architectural installation in the 2009 Jerusalem Show: Jerusalem Syndrome, consisting of a darkened chamber preceded by three corridors. The first and widest corridor is comprised of a very large mirror reflecting a thirteenth century poem from the great Sufi poet Yunus Emre that is printed backwards on the wall opposite. The poem deals with the relationship between subjectivity and the world as experienced by the body. Viewers are enticed to traverse the length of the first corridor in order to read the text that is reflected in the mirror. Two narrower corridors follow. At the end of each of these two corridors, a full length mirror confronts the viewer. At every moment, visitors are confronted with a reflection of their bodies. At the end of the final corridor, the viewer discovers a portal that leads to a darkened chamber. It is only after walking the length of the three corridors and entering the portal that viewers realize that they have been witnessed by others.
Ken Lum (born 1956) is a Canadian artist of Chinese heritage who lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia. Working in a number of media including painting, sculpture and photography, his art is conceptually oriented, and generally concerned with issues of identity in relation to the categories of language and portraiture. From 2000 to 2006 Ken Lum was head of the graduate program in studio art at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, where he taught from 1990 until 2006. Lum joined the faculty of Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, in 2005 and worked there until 2007. He has been an invited professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, the Akademie der Bildenden Kunst, Munich, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, and the China Art Academy, Hangzhou. Lum is co-founder and founding editor of Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art. He has published extensively, and a book of Lum's writings, edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist, is forthcoming from Walter Koenig Books. In addition he recently completed an artists' book project with philosopher Hubert Damisch that was launched with Three Star Press, Paris.
Lum was Project Manager for Okwui Enwezor's The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa 1945 – 1994 (2001). He was also co-curator of the 7th Sharjah Biennial (2005), and Shanghai Modern: 1919 – 1945 (2005). Lum has exhibited widely, including São Paolo Biennial (1998), Shanghai Biennale (2000), Documenta 11 (2002), the Istanbul Biennial (2007), and the Gwangju Biennale (2008). He is currently working on two public art commissions, one in Berlin and the other in Utrecht.