SEA HYUN LEE
Ongoing series, Oil on canvas
26.04. - 09.06.2019
In the exhibition "Between Red" by Sea Hyun Lee, the seemingly simple large scale landscape paintings are rendered in his caracteristic red tones. The patches of white on the canvases seem harsh seen in relation to the carefully detailed fragments in red. At closer look the comprehensive blocks of land emerge as constructed fragments and the compositions made up by reshuffling these fragments. It is the repetitious fragmentation that cohere the work into the flawless totality that makes the paintings compelling both on an aesthetic and conceptual level.
The paintings combines and fuses elements from both North and South Korean terrain in The Demilitarized Zone also know as DMZ. The DMZ is the buffer zone between the two countries. This patch of land is one of the most symbolically loaded landscape in the world. Formally North Korea is still at war with South Korea and the USA even if there has been a armistice since 1953. Lees´ paintings from the «Between Red» series have its origin and is referencing personal experience. When he was serving his mandatory military service as boarder patrolling the DMZ wearing night vision goggles, coating everything red. The landscape looked beautiful in its red tint, but it also instilled fear.
Lee's portrayed landscape does not exist in the real world, but they are based on it. One cannot overlook the possibility that the artist has incorporated distinct elements from the nature of his childhood views of the Hallyeo Maritime National Park on the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula. It is peculiarly known for its exceptionally beautiful island landscape.
The paintings are rooted in the past, but occur simultaneously current and contemporary. In the paintings the peninsular mountain landscape seam stacked on top of each other at the same time each small fragment is painted in perspective. Viewing the hole painting at a distance it appears flatten without regards for perspective. This contributes to the effect of deeply felt destabilization. This makes for interesting interpretation and a mental space for perceptual exploration.
The exhibition is in cooperation with Choi&Lager Gallery, Germany.
The exhibition was opened by Tonje Haugland Sørensen.
Tonje Haugland Sørensen works with art and visual culture, with the main emphasis on the reception of history and historiographical questions. Currently, she is a post-doc with the project Overview - the art of the aerial. The focus is birds-eye view in a larger cultural-historical context, and especially in relation to questions about perception and the visual's place in modern warfare.
Opening speech text by Tonje Haugland Sørensen >>>
Text from Sea Hyun Lee catalog Between Red, by Katie Kitamura >>>
Kunstkritikk (Norwegian) >>>
Morgenbladet (Norwegian) >>>
Subjekt (Norwegian) >>>