Phillip Lai's practice as an artist often works through themes of containment and dispersal implying both philosophical and socio-political interests. He is interested in the current indeterminacies of collective space. He looks at how we have proposed, been directed and found ourselves relating to objects, spaces and images; the form of subjectivity and our complicity and displacement in the exercise of power and influence; and the continuing notion of the liberal in western culture.
Phillip has aimed to reprocess and reconfigure these relationships, sometimes contrasting the haunting from these ideas and that of the narrative speculation of our lives, with a simple material consciousness that is about how things are tangible or how they can be known. Recent work has responded to an increasing sense of spaces of both deferral and detainment and their correlation to drives for self-containment and social communion.
- 1993-94 MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art & Design
- 1990-93 BA Fine Art (sculpture), Chelsea College of Art & Design
Phillip has been lecturing for BA Fine Art at Goldsmiths for ten years after working as a visiting tutor for the programme for four. He also currently serves as an associate lecturer on the MA Fine Art programme at Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London.
He previously worked as a lecturer at Bristol School of Art, Media and Design and the American University in London. He has been a visiting tutor at UCL's Slade School of Fine Art, Oxford University's Ruskin School of Drawing, and Brighton, Middlesex, and Humberside Universities' BA Fine Art programmes.
Phillip visited Armenia at the invitation of the British Council on a research and development trip in 2006. He received the 1999 Award to Individual Artists from London Arts, and in 1996 he completed a one-month residency to work on the "Off Camp/On Base" exhibition in Tokyo.
His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London and Transmission, Glasgow, as well as internationally at Galleria Franco Noero in Turin and the Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch in Berlin. His work has also been featured in group exhibitions at Tate Modern, ICA, Modern Art, Hayward Gallery and Drawing Room in London and MOMA in New York.
Phillip Lai: solo exhibition (Berlin, 2008)
Lai, Phillip. 2008. Phillip Lai: solo exhibition (Berlin, 2008). In: "Open Container, Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch", Berlin, Germany, 13 Dec 2008 - 24 Jan 2009.
A metal bar fell on someone's head or something
Lai, Phillip. 2007. A metal bar fell on someone's head or something. In: "A metal bar fell on someone's head or something", Galeria Franco Noero, Torino, Italy, 11/11/2007 - 1/15/2008.
In The Poem About Love You Don't Write The Word Love
Lai, Phillip. 2005. In The Poem About Love You Don't Write The Word Love. In: "In The Poem About Love You Don't Write The Word Love", CCA, 11/12/2005 - 1/28/2006.
Conference or Workshop Item
1998 Guest advisor to London Arts (formerly London Arts Board)
Lai, Phillip. 1998 Guest advisor to London Arts (formerly London Arts Board).