Seung Ae Lee: Becoming
1 May - 9 June 2018 (extended through 16 June 2018)
Private View: 1 May 2018, 6-8 pm
515 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011
Christine Park Gallery is delighted to present a new body of works by London-based Korean artist Seung Ae Lee. In her first solo exhibition with the Gallery, Lee will present five drawing animations based on her well-known detailed pencil drawings and ten new drawing works.
Lee’s trademark drawing animations explore the relationships between the drawn line, the imaginative transformation, and the moving image. Her animations are a series of spontaneous black and white pencil drawings that repeat the process of erasing and redrawing on paper, continuously leaving traces of the previous frame. The artist repeatedly sketches and erases the drawing, then converts the process of the transformation into moving image. Developed through autonomous ideas and movements, these drawings often depict detached parts of the body, natural organisms, and nostalgic items. A 10 minute animation requires approximately 2000 pencil drawings. The created images show a constant apparition and disapparition of botanic, animalistic, anatomic and traditional motifs. Each stage transforms into the next, with the new movement (or drawing) inspired by the previous stage. The transformation represents the energy that is constantly “becoming” something else at every moment. The sound effects of the traditional Korean percussion instrument complement the visual imagery, and the drawings visually respond to the sounds.
On the occasion of Lee’s first solo show with the Gallery, the exhibition will feature the full series of her drawing animations alongside with new drawings. The animations show the transformation of curious objects in harmony with mythical sound effects and the drawings depict traces of transformation and its result, which hints at the artist’s physical engagement and the materiality of the pencil, the eraser, and the paper. In addition, each drawing animation will be presented with its ‘Master Drawing’, that shows the artist’s repetitive movements of drawing on paper. The viewers are therefore invited to discover the full trajectory of the artist.
Becoming (2017) represents moments of metamorphosis, where there is a continuous flux between different states, eventually transforming the familiar object into an alien form. Contrasting subject matters, including the body, animals, plants, insects, and percussion, transfuse with each other to constantly generate new images. The inappropriate and the unacceptable ideas that are presented to the viewer will challenge their perceptions and understanding of the world.
Based on Lee’s belief that the internal world has a greater energy than the external world, A Cabinet (2017) shows a Korean traditional cabinet repeatedly opening and closing, transmitting the energy from its interior to the viewer. A Lamp (2017)’s drawn image is not fixed to a particular form and does not exist indefinitely in a space. The image exists only in relation to the mind of the viewer. Upon encountering the image, there is an unconscious and automatic process of thinking that prescribes the image into a particular form within the mind. Influenced by the natural environment, A Frog (2016) represents the strong energy of a being that is generated through the constant efforts to transform itself into a different substance, form, and identity. On the other hand, sets of personal memories and fairy-tale-like images are the motivating factors for A Bird (2015). The constant process of metamorphosis demonstrates an indefinite flow of thoughts and imagination. The images transform endlessly, completely eliminating former depictions.
A Cabinet will be projected in the main gallery space in a completely dark room in order to create a curious and mythical ambiance to the space. On its facing wall, A Lamp will be projected on the inner corner of the space, creating a ‘mise en abîme’ (room within a room).