T.K.L. is an independent cartoonist and DJ at the Beijing electronic music club Zhao Dai.
She graduated from the Printmaking Department of CAFA, but her activity is not limited to Academia. Her multifaceted interests bring her a great deal of inspiration in visual art. Thanks to this inspiration she created The Monkey Lab series.
The Monkey Lab is an exploration and a re-interpretation of visual language based on comics with the addition of a narrative character. It is presented as an installation with a four-panel cartoon, a three- panels cartoon and a single frame. Each story takes place on a piece of paper, but the story often happens in an unknown space and time frame.
The images are similar to those that appear on cartoons without words and they also share similarities with animation. For T.K.l, a single page of painting is usually not enough to satisfy her narrative repertoire. Her works also are characterized by a combination of different images which create a narrative form of expression.
I like to paint, and I always want to create new paintings. The Monkey Lab makes me satisfied.
The appearance of the monkey is not a coincidence. In T.K.L 's pictorial world, the monkey is not only a metaphor for human beings, but it also retains the specific characteristics of the animal. In terms of movement, it swings smoothly back and forth as if it was moving between reality and imagination. This character has a realistic representation that comes from life, but it enjoys a certain freedom as it cannot be constrained by social rules and by the structure of real life.
There is no clear plan for the series, which is composed by more than 100 pieces and was started in 2015. It will continue. In the future, T.K.L. says that she would like to paint more and to integrate more ideas into the story.
T.K.L said, The Monkey Lab is an ongoing series, and it is updated throughout time. Sometimes the series is interrupted for a short period, so I leave to myself the time to watch and think, and then eventually I continue to develop the work adding new thoughts and experimentation. Now also because create more and more works, when I look at my artworks, each of them looks like a grid. The whole series is like a cartoon with a narrative: the story of the monkey's journey goes on, the creation and experimentation continue.
Many of the strange and imaginary stories in the pictures are inspired by music. As an artist and DJ, T.K.L. loves electronic music, which brings her more imagination. The unique rhythm of electronic music and its ability to stimulate the senses give her a great deal of inspiration. She incorporates in the paintings the rhythm of music. She also enjoyed being a DJ.
画漫画和做DJ互相影响，因为很多电子乐里面重复的节奏和抽象的空间结构，T.K.L都可以将它们用到漫画的形式语言里面，这种安排和逻辑上的严谨性都是相通的，还有有趣和实验精神一直会继续在 DJ set 里，也会把 DJ GROOVE 带到漫画里，实现漫画里的音乐节奏感，还有空间抽离感。
Comics and DJ influence each other. A lot of electronic music has a repetitive rhythm and abstract spatial structures that I can use in the formal language of comics. From a visual point of view there is a logical rigor; at the same time, the artwork is characterized by a fun and experimental tone, typical of the DJ set atmosphere.
做 DJ 的体验当然是很开心啦，能播放分享自己喜欢的音乐，但我对自己做 DJ 也有一些像画画上的要求，把它看成是一项艺术创作，收集很多声音和音乐，按照时间空间顺序来编排，会考虑特定的时间和地点来播放，让舞池里的人能感受到音乐里我想传达的感受，用抽象的声音和音乐创建一个场景，把舞池里的人吸引住。
The experience of DJ is quietly enjoyable: playing and sharing your favorite music. Besides, I have some requirements for myself as a DJ. It's like painting for me, DJ is also an artistic creation. It requires to collect a lot of sounds and music, to arrange them and to play them at a specific time and place, so that people on the dance floor can feel what I want to convey with the music. By using abstract sounds and music I create a scene, so that people enjoy the dance floor.
~文末彩蛋 A Little More~
Please watch it in Horizontal screen
T.K.L | 吃了波派的菠菜 Spinach with poppies
芳草地画廊 Parkview Green Art
Opening Hours: Every day 10:00-22:00