Back To Top

museum exhibition

Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Lee Bul: From Me, Belongs to You Only

February 4 – May 27, 2012

museum exhibition

Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Lee Bul: From Me, Belongs to You Only

February 4 – May 27, 2012

The Mori Art Museum is pleased to announce a new exhibition, “Lee Bul: From Me, Belongs to You Only" from 4 February through 27 May, 2012. Lee Bul was born in South Korea in 1964 and has been considered one of Asia’s leading artists since the 1990s, when her work was shown at numerous international venues including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Lyon Biennale and the Venice Biennale.

Having set out on her career in the late 1980s, Lee’s maturation as an artist coincided with South Korea’s development in terms of democracy, modernization and economic strength. Lee tends to make reference to 20th century utopian theory, literature and politics in her work, and often imbues it with elements of South Korea’s modern history as well as her own personal history. In this way, Lee has questioned the nature of human beings and their notions of ideal society with the aim of arriving at universal values.

This exhibition will include early performances using her own body, a series of works in which sculpture is presented as an existence transcending the human body, and also recent works reminiscent of architectural or urban planning models. Through her practice, Lee has sought to transcend both the human body and society as we know them, and this exhibition represents the ?rst chance to get a full overview of that process. It will include around 45 works, several of which are new.


Main Features
The artist's first mid-career retrospective
Since the 1990s, Lee Bul's work has garnered international acclaim, having been exhibited at the Projects of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1997) and in numerous international exhibitions including Lyon Biennale and the South Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1999). As a leading Asian artist, Lee’s works have been shown number of times in Japan, but this exhibition will be considered as the mid-career retrospective covering her 20 year career and including roughly 45 works, some of them new.

New works made especially for this show
The exhibition subtitle, "From Me, Belongs to You Only," is a message to society in general but it also demonstrates Lee's stance of emphasizing the personal relations and emotions of individuals, which tend to be overrun by the waves of political and social change. The phrase is rich with the suggestion that we should always be conscious of the relationship between the whole and the individual. We can observe same attitude in a new work made especially for this show, which will be exhibited at the end of the exhibition.

A universal worldview, integrating art, the histories of Korea and Lee herself
Born in 1964, Lee grew up under a military dictatorship in South Korea and she developed her career as an artist at the same time that the nation adopted democracy in 1987 onwards and then rapidly set about modernizing and developing economically. While maintaining a ?rm consciousness of her own country's political and social history of being colonized in the early 1900s, of division into north and south after the Korean War, of various coup d'état and revolutions, Lee has explored ways that humans have over the ages continued to pursue utopias, or ideal societies. By layering her own personal history on those broader movements, she has created a world view that is truly unique.

A dazzling world of glass, beads and chains
Instead of the traditional sculptural materials of wood, stone and clay, Lee uses glass, beads and chains – industrial materials that symbolize modernism. And yet, she also employs the kind of decorativeness that modernism so strictly proscribed. In that way, the works suggest a reversal of accepted values and a new relationship between notions of beauty and ugliness. Lee's artworks create a world illuminated dramatically, that is dazzling and surreal.

Recreation of the artist's studio
The re?ned and stylish works of art that will be displayed in the exhibition are realized through a lengthy process of trial and error during which the artist creates a large number of drawings and models. Such drawings will be included in a special space in the exhibition called "The Studio," where vast number of drawings, models and other materials used in the works will also be shown. This special display will constitute a visualization of the artist's creative process, giving viewers a peek insider her mind.

Exhibition Artists