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TRIENNIAL

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

July 26 – September 13, 2015

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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

News

'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

PRESS

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

Guardian


Artist of the week 97: Lee Bul
Beauty gone mad is the theme for this Korean artist, whose too-perfect cyborg women and crystalline edifices are both sensual and sinister

Skye Sherwin

Nothing's perfect, but that doesn't stop us chasing the dream – a Catch-22 that has long fascinated Korean artist Lee Bul. In the 1990s, her cyborg sculptures took an obsession with prosthetics and plastic surgery to a gleaming conclusion: ideal robot women. More recently, she's turned to the futuristic architectural fantasies of the early 20th century. Elaborate sculptures and installations are crafted from twisted metal, decked in crystal beads and chains, set in mirrored boxes or hung from the ceiling like castles in the air. Hectic and gorgeous, they suggest another kind of post-human world, where shimmering modernist buildings lie in seductive ruin.

Bul was born in 1964 in a remote South Korean village where her dissident parents were in hiding from the oppressive government. Something of a renegade in the Korean artworld, she made her mark in the late 1980s through outlandish street performances. Her first sculptures were designed to be worn: covered in freakish protrusions and decked in sequins, they suggested a metamorphosis that was both grotesque and sensual. In the late 1990s her sci-fi inspired, mutant cyber-women, with missing heads and limbs like the female torsos of Renaissance sculpture, established Bul's international reputation. As with the cyberpunk novels of William Gibson, her work pointed to a terrifying future where technology is less freeing than debilitating.

The past five years have seen Bul make a break with this aesthetic, though beauty gone mad remains an abiding theme. Her 2007 series, Sternbau , was inspired by visionary architect Bruno Taut's proposals for a crystalline city in the Alps, which date from 1917; darkly sparkling, chandelier-like hanging sculptures sprawl outwards, laden with out-of-control décor. An installation from the same year, Heaven and Earth, explores her own country's embattled modernisation: in a scruffy, white-tiled bathroom resembling a torture chamber, a bath is filled to the brim with foul-smelling black goop. Reflected in this well of horrors is an ice-white sculpture of Baekdu mountain, the mythical birthplace of the Korean nation. Luxurious and sinister, Bul's art mines a terrible beauty that seems to stretch endlessly into past and future, grimly dehumanising and forever compelling.

Why we like her: Bul's karaoke pods, shown at New York's New Museum in 2002, looked like a cross between a space-age race car and a coffin: sound-proofed, self-enclosed worlds where gallerygoers could belt out a tune, all alone.

Smell of success: Bul's New York debut at the prestigious Moma was forced to close after just a few days when staff complained about the pong – her work was composed from be-sequinned dead fish.

Renaissance girl: The artist attributes her mix of art and science tothe experiments of Leonardo da Vinci, whose work she claims she first encountered when she was six.

Where can I see her? Bul's work is included in The New Décor, at London's Hayward gallery until 5 September 2010.