Lee Bul is one of the most important Korean artists of her generation, having received significant international recognition for her formally inventive and intellectually provocative work. From 29 September 2018 to 13 January 2019, the Gropius Bau presents Crash, her first solo exhibition in Germany. This comprehensive survey is the first exhibition Stephanie Rosenthal has curated as the new director of the Gropius Bau.
Lee Bul’s diverse body of work comprises of performance and installation art that explores dreams, ideals and utopias influenced by futurist theories and science fiction, bioengineering and visionary architecture. Crash seeks to enthral and spark the imagination of many as a multi-sensory experience composed of several experimental elements. The works on display are characterised not only by sensual expressiveness and humour, but also by Lee Bul’s own experiences with and subtle allusions to the history and politics of Korea. Lee Bul's expansive stage sets and landscapes experiment with unusual materials such as mother-of-pearl, crystals, leather or velvet, revealing imaginative topographies and revisiting utopia. Throughout her now 30-year artistic career, Lee Bul has been witness to South Korea’s evolution – from military dictatorship to democracy in perpetual confrontation with North Korea, located only kilometres away. Her works attest to an intense reflection of both historical and political discourses, to the challenges of globalisation and technical progress, but also to the pursuit of ideals of human and social perfection, and their potential failure.