SEOUL, April 4 (Korea Bizwire) — Lee Ufan, a celebrated Korean minimalist painter and sculptor, is showcasing his iconic and latest artworks, which explore the relationship between space and time, in his first solo exhibition in South Korea in 12 years.
The exhibition, titled “Lee Ufan,” opened at Kukje Gallery in downtown Seoul on Tuesday and will run through May 28. It features six sculptures and four drawings, showcasing Lee’s works from the 1980s to his most recent pieces.
A pioneer of the Japanese Mono-ha movement, often translated as “School of Things,” the 86-year-old is extremely influential and his paintings have sold for the highest prices among living Korean artists.
Lee’s work is characterized by repeated brushstrokes of simple points and lines in paintings, as well as sculptures composed of stones and steel plates known as the “Relatum” series that began in the 1960s.
Among the works on display is “Relatum — The Sound Cylinder” (1996/2023), which consists of a stone leaning on a hollow steel cylinder.
From the five holes in the surface of the cylinder emerges the sound of the Emile Bell, Korea’s largest bronze bell, as well as sounds of nature, including singing birds, rain, thunder and streams.
“Relatum — Seem” (2009) is a stone facing an empty canvas under dim light, inviting viewers to a world of silent meditation.
Another sculpture, “Relatum — The Kiss” (2023), presents two stones facing each other, like they are kissing, while two individual chains surrounding them create a point of intersection.
Similar to this work is “Relatum — Lover” (1986), in which two stones seem to attempt to overcome the division in between the two disjointed steel plates and come into contact.
The exhibition also showcases his four minimalist paintings titled “Dialogue” (2023), drawn with acrylic and charcoal, an extension of Lee’s iconic painting series “Dialogue.”