David Khang

Further information

Country of origin




David Khang is a Vancouver-based artist whose practice is informed by multiple educational trajectories.


Through the use of languages, prosthetics, and site-specific histories, Khang explores the poetics and politics of global relations.

After receiving his BSc (Psychology & Physiology) and DDS (University of Toronto, 1991), Khang received his BFA from Emily Carr Institute (2000), and MFA with Emphasis in Critical Theory at the University of California, Irvine (2004).

Khang is an Adjunct Faculty at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design (Vancouver) and Goddard College (Vermont). He has exhibited and performed nationally and internationally. Khang is a 2007 recipient of the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art (NYC).

Research project 

Amelogenesis Perfecta (by the skin of teeth)

During his residency, David Khang conducted research that fused his dual training in art and dentistry.

Amelogenesis Imperfecta (by the Skin of Teeth) borrowed techniques, technologies, and biomaterials from dental science – to explore the possibilities of growing enamel in vitro to produce what are in effect ‘enamel sculptures.’ Epithelial and mesenchymal cells were harvested from an unerupted porcine enamel organ/ tooth bud, and grown separately in vitro, to be ultimately seeded together onto a bio-scaffold.

The two cell lines’ cascading interaction is required to produce enamel and dentin, two main components of teeth.

While the project failed in its objective of growing enamel, the epithelial cells that would have differentiated into ameloblasts (enamel-producing cells) were seeded instead onto glass slides. These functioned as the ‘canvas’ upon which the cells were ‘drawn’ on with a precise cutting laser under high magnification at the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis.

The inscriptions on a sheet of cells (“How deep is the skin of teeth”), or within a single cell (“What is the smallest measure of life”), remain invisible to the naked human eye, and become visible under a microscope.


This residency was funded by The Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council.

Period of research

March to August 2010