Reading the Air – Lene Kilde Solo Show

Cement, copper wires, the surrounding air, and perhaps with a little imagination. These are the main creative medium of Norwegian artist Lene Kilde.

Lene Kilde carefully observed the body language of children and discovered that regardless of what race and gender the children were, she was able to guess the children’s current facial expressions and their emotions based on their body language. She precisely captured the movements of limbs, such as their fingers, feet, and toes, of them clasping, twisting, or relaxing. In the eyes of the artist, the children’s various emotions are transparent and delicate. She combined cement with copper wires intertwining, to form their naive body language led by their pure mind.

The term “reading the air" derives from a Japanese slang, which means to examine the atmosphere of the immediate surroundings and sensing someone’s feeling without verbal expressions, so that they adapt to their behavior accordingly. In a society like Japan, where people remain cautious, reserved and tend to be indirect, “reading the air” is often seen as an adult’s social skill to prevent from causing others’ discomfort. However, in this solo show by Lene Kilde, the definition of “reading the air” has been reversed. The artist’s creations subtly guided the viewers from viewing the concrete form of children’s partial body depiction to indulge in imaging their abstract emotions. The emotions of the artwork were portrayed by the surrounding air, showcasing the innocence of children. When viewing the works, try to let go of the adult’s prejudices and the rigid society and instead, start from reading a child’s purest body language and indulge in your imagination and childhood memories to fill in the blanks.

Leave behind the hidden rules of society and awaken the inner child in our soul. Each of our hands that explored the world with curiosity and bare feet that step on the Earth, marks how we used to be when we were young.

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