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Gallery Exhibitions

Museum Exhibitions & Projects

TRIENNIAL

Echigo-Tsumari Art Tr...
Tokamachi City, Japan

July 26 – September 13, 2015

Biennial

Gwangju Biennale

September 5 – November 9, 2014

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Artist Bio

Lee Bul

PRESS

Financial Times

January 11, 2017

News

Video: Lee Bul’s Monumental Sydney Biennale Dreamscape Artinfo

April 14 2016

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'Embassy of The Real': a Biennale of Sydney satellite show on Cockatoo Island Wallpaper* Magazine

March 24 2016

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Artist Talk: Lee Bul 20th Biennale of Sydney

March 18, 2016, 1PM
Turbine Hall, Cockatoo Island, New South Wales, Australia

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Sydney Biennale review – contemporary art meets sci-fi in wide-reaching show The Guardian

March 18 2016

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Sydney Biennale Announces Artist List Artforum

October 28 2015

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Lee Bul’s Fog-Covered Installation at Palais de Tokyo ARTINFO

October 21 2015

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The Korea Herald

October 1, 2014

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The Korea Herald

September 11, 2014

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The Brooklyn Rail

July 15, 2014

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Time Out New York

June 10, 2014

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The Creator's Project

May 22, 2014

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Time Out New York

May 22, 2014

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Artinfo

May 15, 2014

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Cool Hunting

May 5, 2014

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Art in America

May 2014

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Art Review

October 2013

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Whitewall

March 20, 2013

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Artinfo

March 14, 2013

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Time Out Hong Kong

March 13, 2013

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The Wall Street Journal

March 13, 2013

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Art Asia Pacific Where I Work: Lee Bul

March/April 2013

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Lehmann Maupin's Inaugural Hong Kong Exhibition Features New Work by Leading Korean Artist Lee Bul 14 March - 11 May 2013

January 28 2013

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The Creator's Project

September 20, 2012

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Real Tokyo

April 5, 2012

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The Japan Times

April 5, 2012

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Art Asia Pacific

February 29, 2012

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The Korea Herald

February 5, 2012

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Artforum

January 2012

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Sculpture

April 30, 2011

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W Magazine

October 31, 2010

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Art + Auction

October 31, 2010

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Guardian

July 21, 2010

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Time Out New York

June 3, 2010

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Artnet

May 15, 2010

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The Japan Times

April 9, 2010

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The Korea Times

February 5, 2010

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Art In America

August 31, 2008

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Time Out New York

June 14, 2008

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The New Yorker

June 9, 2008

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Art + Auction

June 1, 2008

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The New York Times

May 30, 2008

Art In America


Lee Bul: Lehmann Maupin Gallery
By Eleanor Heartney

This show spotlighted Korean artist Lee Bul's recent evolution. Earlier, in her cyborg sculptures and karaoke pods, Lee investigated the porous boundary between the body and technology. She has since turned to the contradictions of modernist architecture. This is not as much of a stretch as it might seem: the artist herself has pointed out in various interviews that her overall concern is with the failed modernist dream of perfectibility. To Lee, the ideal embodied in Le Corbusier's "machines for living," an architecture based on the rationalization of the functions of human life, has proved as problematic as Descartes's visualization of the human body as "an earthen machine" powered by the soul.

Here Lee explored the irrationality underlying modernist architecture's rationalism. The front gallery presented a number of floor and wall pieces in which mirrors are used to create a sense of infinite recess. Trapped inside glass-covered boxes are arrangements of gears, factory chimneys, industrial machinery and tiny topographic models of architectural ruins. The elements are repeatedly reflected, raked by a dramatic light affixed inside the mirrored box. There is a disturbing sense of endlessly replicated man-made constructions living on in a world devoid of human presence.

More seductive are several chandelier-like works draped with glass and acrylic beads, chains, bits of reflective Mylar and crystalline forms suggestive of miniaturized skyscrapers. The largest of these, Untitled (After Bruno Taut), 2008 (the parenthetical subtitle refers to the German architect famous for his 1914 Glass Pavilion), hung from the ceiling, with its beads and chains spilling down like the loosened rigging of a sailing ship. These settle above a platform outfitted with crystalline structures that suggests a fantastic island landscape. The complexity of the structure is reflected in Mylar covering the gallery's floor.

Less directly relating to modernist architecture, Bunker-M. Bakhtin (2007) embodies the Russian semiotician's idea of polyphonic discourse. Here, inside a sleek black "cave" - a molded fiberglass shell not unlike the uniform of Darth Vader - Bakhtin's notion of multiple voices is literally evoked with a microphone and headphones that magnify every ambient sound. In the context of Lee's work, the rock-shaped shell suggests a "post-natural" sensibility similar to that of her "post-human" cyborgs.

The exhibition was rounded out with various scale models for other equally multilayered works, making for an altogether intriguing show. While the intellectual references can get a bit top-heavy, the work is redeemed by material and formal inventiveness, along with a subtle hint of psychological threat. In a manner similar to the giant humanoids of David Altmejd on view in Chelsea at the same time, Lee's works conjure a world where it is increasingly impossible to disentangle the organic from the manufactured.