November 29, 2015 - Vancouver Art Gallery - Lee Bul
November 29, 2015

Vancouver Art Gallery

Lee Bul, Untitled, 2014. crystal, glass and acrylic beads, mirrors, stainless-steel, aluminum and black nickel rods, steel and bronze chains, stainless-steel, and aluminum armature. Courtesy the Artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong. Photo: Jeon Byung-cheol.
Lee Bul
October 30, 2015–January 10, 2016

Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby Street
Vancouver BC V6Z 2H7
Canada

vanartgallery.bc.ca
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Lee Bul
October 30, 2015–January 10, 2016

Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby Street
Vancouver BC V6Z 2H7
Canada

vanartgallery.bc.ca
Facebook

The Vancouver Art Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibition of recent works by internationally renowned Korean artist Lee Bul, who is widely considered one of the most important artists of her generation. This exhibition features large-scale sculptures paired with early drawings, revealing Lee Bul’s visually and conceptually compelling practice. Lee Bul marks the 2015 feature exhibition for the Gallery's Institute of Asian Art, an initiative that advances scholarship and public appreciation of art from China, India, Japan and Korea.

Acclaimed for her "Cyborg" sculptures of the 1990s, which drew upon elements of art history, critical theory and science fiction and were featured in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s The Uncanny: Experiments in Cyborg Culture, Lee Bul’s more recent work explores the future of the past. Through elaborate sculptures and assemblages, she reflects upon utopian architecture of the early 20th century, as well as architectural images of totalitarianism that are echoes of the artist’s experience of living in a military controlled Korea.

The exhibition begins with over 100 drawings produced by the artist since the mid-1990s, which are followed by large-scale sculptures from the last decade based on modernist constructions, and concludes with a reconstruction of the artist’s studio that offers insights into Lee Bul’s methodology. It contains a wealth of preliminary drawings, intermediary models and material tests, revealing the process of her prolific artistic output.

Together these works deepen the visitors’ understanding of Lee Bul’s practice, highlighting her reflections on the failed ideals of recent history and the human optimism that prevails in the face of uncertain futures.

About the artist

Born in 1964 under the military dictatorship of South Korea, Lee Bul studied sculpture at Hongik University in Seoul during the late 1980s. Early in her career, she created works that crossed disciplines in provocative ways, delving into the many ways that ideologies permeate society. Her performance art in the late 1980s and early 90s broke from the artistic conventions governing Korea at that time and included public appearances with the artist clothed in full-body soft sculptures that were at once grotesque and alluring. These quasi-monstrous fabric forms predated her female cyborg sculptures of the late 1990s, which drew heavily on critical theory, science fiction and classical sculpture to explore apprehensions around emerging technology. Since 1987, Bul’s work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions at art institutions around the world. The artist has also received several prestigious awards. In 2000, Bul received two awards—Young Artist of the Year Award, presented by the Ministry of Culture, Republic of Korea, and the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Korean Culture & Arts Foundation—and in 1999, the 48th Venice Biennale awarded her the Menzione d’Onore. In 2014, she was honoured with the Noon Award for best artist at the Gwangju Biennale, for creating the most experimental artwork within the Biennale’s theme of “Burning Down the House." Her work has been included in two group exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery since the 1990s. 
 

About the Institute of Asian Art

Building upon the Vancouver Art Gallery’s longstanding commitment to fostering cultural connections throughout Asia, the Institute of Asian Art is a comprehensive initiative to advance scholarship and public appreciation of art primarily from China, India, Japan and Korea through exhibitions, public programs and permanent collections.

Media Information:

Debra Zhou: T +604 662 4722 / M +604 671 2358 / dzhou@vanartgallery.bc.ca

About the Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Art Gallery is a not-for-profit organization supported by its members, individual donors, corporate funders, foun­dations, the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts. We thank everyone for their continuing generosity.

Lee Bul is a touring retrospective exhibition organized by Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg; IKON Gallery, Birmingham; Korean Cultural Centre UK, London; Musée d’art moderne et contemporain Saint-Étienne Métropole, Saint-Priest-en-Jarez (France); and Espaid’art contemporani de Castelló (EACC), Castelló. The Vancouver Art Gallery version is coordinated by Daina Augaitis, Chief Curator/Associate Director, Vancouver Art Gallery, and Diana Freundl, Associate Curator-Asian Art.

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