Highlighting Korean Contemporary Artist IV Hyungkoo Lee
Busan Museum of Art
Busan Museum of Art has presented an exhibition titled Highlighting Korean Contemporary Artist to introduce significant artists in the contemporary art of Korea. Highlighting Korean Contemporary Artist IV- Hyungkoo Lee being held in 2022 as the fourth show sheds light on the oeuvre of Hyungkoo Lee, an artist that has carried on his thoughts and artistic approach on the concept of “human body” using a unique figurative language. This exhibition is intended to examine significant meanings of the body which penetrate into the entire scope of his works, and rethink the prestige of human body with untapped artistic potentials.
His artistic concern with human body began from his initial work of The Objectuals series. Having experienced physical differences among races while studying in the U.S., Lee produced a device that can transform the human body into a desired size or form. He presented discourses on the post-human physicality in a humorous figurative language of his own. Having discovered the physical characteristics of an animation character in a modified human shape, he made an attempt to reproduce the character’s actual skeleton on the premise that a virtual being exists. ANIMATUS series, which is realistically expressed based on an anatomical approach, evokes an illusion as if viewing a character’s fossil. His interest in the body has developed more specifically to the point of exploring vision. Eye Trace series, which explores the body’s senses that change according to differences in the way of viewing, manifests his endeavor to boldly backtrack the close boundary between the visual system and perception. In Face Trace series produced out of his passion for physiognomy, Lee transformed the face to create 12 new stories. His sculptural gesture, which attempted to recombine and transform his physiognomy, shows his self-driven attitude to reject a predetermined fate. MEASURE series is based on his new visual imagination that started with the act of “walking.” The whole process of his ritual to train senses to be able to move like a horse and performing horsemanship is presented in Lee’s unique playful visual language. As Lee identified the change in perception driven by the body through all sorts of experimentation, he unfolded the body in an expanded space in Chemical series. The audience will experience the “human body” as a kind of astronomical landscape and a microcosm at some point upon walking through the point of view of Lee that has moved inside the human body.