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2018, DOOSAN Gallery Seoul


In Lee’s Unfolding series, it seems as if the artist’s past moments have been paused in postponed time. The artist’s monologue-like statement that “once something happens, it never disappears” bounces off everywhere in space like an echo until finally returning to the work. The memories engraved into the folded time freeze in that state, leaving an ineffaceable mark and becoming a monument. Her work continuously reminds us that this moment of the present exists to accept and recognize the past.


Unlike the static and tranquil look on the surface, Lee’s work goes through a dynamic process every time. Her work process is physically rough and difficult, like an unimaginably long period of time it takes for waves and wind in nature to polish down an angular boulder to round pebbles then finally into fine sand in the end. Mainly using materials that vanish or are useless (like fragments of car window, broken umbrella, pin, incense smoke, etc.), Lee captures unfixable and immaterial memories or emotions and go through repetitive work processes.


When working with shattered glass pieces, Lee sorts them out, puts the pieces together and glues them. Then she polishes the work, coats and sands it, and repeats this process until she arrives at a certain surface. Sometimes, in order to make a certain shape, Lee creates a skeletal structure, applies material on it, grinds and coats it, and repeats such process to complete the work. Lee mainly uses transparent or white material for her work, which seems to reflect the artist’s will to approach her ideas and her audience in a stance that’s as neutral as possible, and to maintain a flexible attitude that is open to variations depending on the context in which the work is placed.


It’s not not easy for the audience to recognize the emotions that reside in the personal memories of the artist. However, the long period of thinking captured behind the smooth surface leaves behind a resonance that’s as vivid as the traces of wrinkles and folded lines in the work. 

— Excerpt from the THE SHOW MUST GO ON exhibition catalog

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