Gallery Hyundai presents DAMASESE, a solo exhibition of Seulgi Lee (b.1972). The title DAMASESE is an incantation of Lee’s creation that channels the hopes of a master craftsman.
This exhibition introduces her works as visual condensations of linguistic structures and imaginations within mythologies, tales, and proverbs, materialized upon anthropological objects. They provide a chance to conjure up things often overlooked in everyday life.
Ginkgo Project B, displayed for the first time at DAMASESE, is an installation that fills an interior floor space with gingko leaves. It reexamines the meaning of the mundane object of a leaf while also producing a physical experience for the audience of colors that change through time in contrast to artificial colors of the wall. Also included in the show are Blanket Project U, Tamis Project O, and Basket Project W, created through collaboration with master craftsmen. Traditional crafts, in its necessary treatment of natural materials, does not simply instrumentalize them but is enabled by a total communion with, and comprehension of, materiality in the process of making. Seulgi Lee highlights how a craftsman with sufficient understanding of materials may bridge embodied techniques and forms to linguistic structures of his community.
U, a translation of Korean proverbs on patchwork blanket, conveys the narratives behind proverbs through the colors of five primary directions in combination with geometric forms. On the other hand, W focuses on the reviving movements of an endangered language (Ixcatteco) as is it used by natives of the Ixcattelan village in Santa Maria, north of Mexico’s Oaxaca province, while they weave baskets out of palm tree fibers. Another work, O, is a collaboration with a wooden net craftsman based in Midwestern France, reminiscent of an old French grain-weighing device that, in her creation, appears to weigh color itself.
Seulgi Lee was born in Seoul, and has lived and worked in Paris since 1992. She studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Her art is characterized by a uniquely humorous take, geometric patterns, and lively colors, all contributing to the reinterpretation of banal objects in everyday life into artwork that poses questions towards things considered mundane. Seulgi Lee participated in major international exhibitions such as Burning Down The House (Gwangju Biennale, 2014), Intense Proximity (La Triennial, Palais de Tokyo, 2012), Evento (Biennale de Bordeaux, 2009), Annual Report (Gwangju Biennale, 2007), and more.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)