4 0121-足1 110=112029 | wood (oak) | variable installation | 2012
I cer tainly do not have the power to make the wor ld beautiful. I just hope to make those things that are seen beautiful.
The organic constr uctions of Lee Jaehyo exude a breath-taking otherwor ldly splendour. Both pensive and dynamic, still yet deafening, his wor ks allow him to expose the often neglected intrinsic beauty of his conventional subjects. His ‘common’ materials and forms of choice offer an immediate accessibility that defies any cultural, historical, intellectual or spiritual boundar y, seducing the audience to enter into its space and reacquaint themselves with the un-commonness of their existence. Yet in their ability to cross border s and seamlessly adapt to international landscapes, Lee’s practice remains specifically rooted in Korean ar tistic tradition to cultivate his exchange with the present. Born in 1965 in South Korea, Lee Jaehyo emerged against the predominant wave of his contemporaries whose ar t imitated Western modernist styles and movements of the ear ly twentieth centur y. Audiences have been quick to associate him with the concept of faktura of the Russian Constr uctivists active in the ear ly year s leading up to the Fir st Wor ld War (1914-18) and the Land Ar t movement of the United States that took shape in the 1960s and 70s. Faktura referred to the visual demonstration of distinct proper ties inherent to materials while the Land Ar t movement protested against the ar tificiality and commercialisation of beauty. Lee’s wor ks such as 0121110=112027 reflect these primar y concerns of faktura and Land Ar t through the use of the timeless medium of wood. The pieces have been laboriously wor ked into a smooth and perfect column to reveal the striking nuances of their growth rings, tones and textures. However Lee also voices the primar y impor tance of upholding traditional Korean ar t in his wor k. Korean ar t stands out for the impor tance placed on the subtle mar k of the ar tist while respecting the nature of the materials. The traditional Korean ar t genres of calligraphy, painting, ceramics, handicraft and architecture emphasise a strong emotional and spiritual tie to their native landscape expressed through r ustic lines, simple tones and unrestrained harmony. Lee’s wooden constr uctions are reminiscent of Korean traditional houses, hanok. Although hanok were built without the use of nails and Lee’s wooden sculptures rely heavily on metal fastenings, his wor k ingeniously embodies the str ucturally and aesthetically balanced fusion of straight lines and cur ves, exposed ribs and decorative surfaces that characterise hanok.
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1 0121-足1 110=1071212 | wood (fallen leaves) | 600 x 300 cm | 2007
The significance placed on str ucture and surface and the interplay between the media employed for each wor k reveals Lee’s constant interaction with his materials. Sculptures such as 0121-110=1111219 rever se the roles of the invisible str uctural nails and the visible wood exterior. The nails rise to the surface of the wor k, embedded into charcoaled wood and polished to an unexpected mesmerising sheen. These constant exchanges between the seen and unseen, material and immaterial, in Lee’s wor k uncover the synergy of ar tificial inter vention with natural evolution; an attribute of his relationship with both his materials and the development of his ar t. Lee’s commitment to presenting the ‘tr ue’ nature of his media conveys a mutual respect between the ar tist and his materials. Ever yday entities such as steel and wood metamorphose into new and unfamiliar identities through the ar tist’s inquisitive and reverent deconstr uction of the materials. From the moment he walks into the forest or tool shop to encounter his collection of timber, stone or nails for his next creation, he allows these materials to speak to him, taking on the role of an instr ument for their next incarnation. Painstakingly polished slices of wood and bent nails convey the beauty of the conventional and Lee maximises their purity through simple geometric forms. Such expressions are also seen in his recent sculpture 0121-1110-111041, built entirely of welded stainless steel cylindrical tubes which possess an organic quality that appear s to breathe life into, and uncover the beauty of, the industrial material and form. The immensity and flawlessness of nature that inspire Lee Jaehyo’s dialogues with his materials endow his sculpture with a univer sality that engages anyone who also dares to venture beyond surface and object. He stands amongst a select group of Korean contemporar y ar tists whose expression is deeply tied to their inherited tradition. As curator Laurencina Farrant-Lee obser ves, these ar tists ‘possess strong emotional and spiritual ties to their native landscape and culture and draw from Korean aesthetics to sustain, complement and fur ther their contemporar y statement. The creative energy that is achieved in this process is innovative and exciting, uplifting and beautiful’. Lee’s wor ks appear to live and breathe in the present through their creator’s ability to conver se with the past and look forward, a respect that flows into the materials and beyond to the spectator.
Lee Jungeun, Independent Writer
 Laurencina Farrant-Lee , ‘Simply Beautiful Exhibition Concept’, Lee Jaehyo. Simply Beautiful: Breadth of Nature in Korean Contemporar y Ar t, CentrePasquAr t, Biel, 2006, n.p.
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5 0121-足1 110=112027 | wood (camellia) | 32 x 32 x 270 cm | 2012
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2 0121-足1 110=112021 | wood (bamboo) | 210 x 210 x 66 cm | 2012
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3 0121-足1 110=112011| wood (branches) | 600 x 100 x 220 cm, 31 pieces | 2012 04 | 05
8 0121-足1 110=1111012 | wood (larch) | 86 x 86 x 22 cm | 2011
7 0121-足1 110=111123 | wood (chestnut) | 118 x 118 x 38 cm | 2011
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9 0121-足1 110=1100315 | steel wire | 80 x 80 cm | 2010
10 0121-足1 110=111044 | stainless steel bolts, nails & wood | 60 x 60 x 8 cm | 2011
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6 0121-足1 110=111073 | casting | 90 x 217cm, 76 x 185cm, 62 x 155cm | 2011
13 0121 - 足1 110=1111221 | stainless steel bolts, nails & wood | 34 x 29 x 31 cm | 2011
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12 0121-足1 110=1111219 | Stainless steel bolts, nails & wood | 28 x 25 x 15 cm | 2011
11 0121 - 足1 110=1111216 | stainless steel bolts, nails & wood | 18 x 12 x 20 cm | 2011
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LEE JAEHYO ( b1965 ) EDUCATION 1992 B.F.A., Hong-Ik University, Seoul, Korea SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2012 Beautiful Dialogue, HADA Contemporar y, London Lee Jaehyo 1991-2012, Sungkuk Ar t Museum, Seoul 2011 Momtgomer y Museum of Fine Ar ts, Alabama 2010 The force of will: The force of nature, Albemarle Galler y, London Solo Exhibition, REEVES Contemporar y, New York Nampo Ar t Museum, Korea 2009 Solo Exhibition, Galler y Sol Beach, Korea Solo Exhibition, Ever Har vest Ar t Galler y, Taiwan Solo Exhibition, Galler y Keumsan, Japan Force of Nature, Solo Exhibition, Albemarle Galler y, London 2008 Solo Exhibition, BUNDO Galler y, Korea Solo Exhibition, REEVES Contemporar y, New York 2007 Solo Exhibition, Galler y Keumsan, Japan Solo Exhibition, Galler y Ar tside, China Solo Exhibition, Galler y Keumsan, Korea 2005 Solo Exhibition, Galler y Ar tside, Korea 2003 Solo Exhibition, Galler y Won, Korea 2001 Solo Exhibition, Vermont Studio Center, USA 2000 Solo Exhibition, Ilmin Museum of Ar t, Korea 1996 Solo Exhibition, Museum of Seoul Ar ts Center, Korea
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2011 International Sculpture Symposium in Icheon(Icheon) Moving Ar t Village (Nampo Ar t Museum) SOFA New York 2011 (New York) Gotenyama Exhibition (Ippodo Galler y, Gotenyama) 2010 2010 Korea Tommorrow (SETEC) The Seoul Ar t Exhibition 2010 (Seoul Museum of Ar t) G20 Seoul Summit Celebration Exhibition for the Korean Fine Ar ts (National Assembly Librar y) Ar t Docking Spot (Woomyoung Ar t Museum) KIAF-VIP Lounge (COEX) Hongik Sculpture Exhibition (Triennale di Milano Incheon Museum) Sculpture Objects & Functional Ar t Fair (New York) Multi Effect (Galler y Ihn) 30th Anniversar y of the Young Korean Ar tists (National Museum of Contemporar y Ar t) 2009 A Korea& Singapore Joint Sculpture Exhibition (Singapore-Botanic Garden) Yangpyeong Environmental Ar t (South Han River) Touchar t Book Ar tists(Touchar t Galler y) 2009 Korea International Ar t Fair (COEX) Ar t Fair Taipei 2009 (Taiwan) Like of Yves Saint Laurent (Galler y Ar tside) Korean Aesthetics (Albemarle Galler y-U.K) Mad for furniture (Nefspace) Hong Kong Ar t Fair (Galler y Keumsan) Korea Galleries Ar t Fair (BEXCO) Step of a Bull (Jang Eun Sun Galler y)
The Great Hands (Hyundai Galler y) 2008 Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinar y (Museum of Ar ts and Design-New York) Korea Now: Emerging Korean Ar t (Ar tLink-Israel) Sanghai Contemporar y Ar t Fair (Sanghai) Korea International Ar t Fair (COEX) Daegu Ar t Fair (EXCO) Ar t Museum the Traveling (National Museum of Contemporar y Ar t) Living Design fair (COEX) Contemporar y Neo_metaphor 2008 (Insa ar t center) Seoul Ar t Fair (BEXCO) Opening 10th Busan Municipal Museum of Ar t (Busan Municipal Museum of Ar t) Changwon Asian Contemporar y Ar t Exhibition (Changwon Ar t Hall) Circle & Sqaure (N Galler y Planning Invitation Exhibition) 2007 Lee jaehyo,Park seungmo,Chio taehoon Group Exhibition (Manas ar t center) From Dot to Dot (Whanki Museum) Living Design fair (Designer’s Choice-COEX) Beijing Ar t Fair (China) Tuning Boloni (China) 2006 Simply Beautiful (Centre PasquAr t, Biel-Switzerland) Ar t Canal (River Suze-Switzerland) EHS Project (Cheonggyecheon-Seoul) China International Galler y Exposition 2006 (Beijing-China) Alchemy of Daily Life (New Zealand) Vibration (EBS Broadcasting Exhibition Hall) 2005 Vibration (Seoul City Ar t Museum) Hyogo International Competition of Painting (Hyogo Prefecture Museum of Ar t-Japan) Ar t & Mathematics (Savina Museum) 2004 A Open Commemoration the Olympic Museum (Olympic Museum) 100% Propose (Galler y Sea&See) Imjin River (The Side of Imjin River) Alchemy of Daily Life (National Museum of Contemporary Ar t) Wave (Galler y Dosi) 2003 Out of Wood (Kim Chong-Yung Sculpture Museum) The Happy Sympathy Between Human and Wood (Daejeon Municipal Museum of Ar t) Benchmarking Project (Namsan Park) 40`s Ar tist (Galler y Moro) Ar t Bench (Ar t Side) 2002 To Became One with Nature (YungEun Museum) International Environmental Ar t Exhibition a Red-bellied Frog’s Cry” (Seoul Ar ts Center, Seoul) DeulMok Association (Galler y Agio) 2001 Good Design Festival (KOEX)-Seoul The Association of Asian Contemporar y Sculpture (YungEun Museum of Contemporar y Ar t) Lee Jae-Hyo, Han Sueng-Gon Exhibition (Hotel Lotte) Water, Wood, Metal, Ear th, Live (Insa Ar t Gallery) 1991~2000 Par ticipated in more than 40 Group Exhibitions.
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This catalogue is published by HADA Contemporary to accompany the exhibition:
LEE JAEHYO SOLO EXHIBITION 2012 [ BEAUTIFUL DIALOGUE ] VYNER STREET 3 - 30 MAY 2012 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any mean, electrical, mechanical or otherwise without prior written permission from HADA Contemporary Ltd.