Korean Artist Project: Lee, Sang Hyun is one of 21 outstanding artists selected by the Korean Artist Project. The Korean Artist Project is a global online website which aims to promote Korean contemporary artists hosted by the Ministy of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea and organized by the Korean Art Museum Association. KAP has launched with a three-year plan spanning from 2011 to 2013. At the first step in 2011, art professionals and critics selected 21 artists, and curators from 13 private art museums organized their virtual solo exhibitions. KAP would love to introduce a diverse spectrum of Korean contemporary art to the global audience. Through these efforts, KAP will play a significant role in the promotion and development of Korean contemporary art. Also, the KAP will become a useful platform, which will serve as a stepping-stone to create cultural exchange and global networks with diverse art people. Please visit www.koreanartistproject.com
Critic's Note: The Eternal Return
Sang Hyun Lee engages a variety of atmospheres to unhinge his pictures from their contemporary reality.
At first glance, and especially to the outsider-Westerner, Lee’s recent photographs and videos may simply evoke stereotypical clichés of a highly technical, hybridized, contemporary Korean society: they are works that seem to perfectly blend with the hyper-reality of a world characterized by a profusion of images, symbols, ideas, and concepts of a society that went through brutal changes in the last hundred and fifty years. The Korean modernization process has, in fact, been extremely rapid, even violent in some aspects, taking the country from the third to the first world in just one generation. Not only has there been foreign occupation and wars, but also a total collapse of traditional culture and way of life under the impact of Western civilization. Most of Lee’s videos and photographs seem to completely personify this. Lee’s digitally montaged imagery is made in vivid, bright pop colours depicting fictitious and historical scenes, juxtaposing past and present, the West and the East, nature and industrialization, rational and irrational, mass culture and traditional landscapes, good and bad, male and female. Many histories and mythologies, including the artist’s own, are intertwined but there is something more than that which meets one’s eyes as Lee himself likes to cross boundaries and go beyond traditional dichotomies. Unsolved mystery, nostalgia, dream-like imagery, science fiction: Lee engages a variety of atmospheres to unhinge his pictures from their contemporary reality.
(This is an excerpt from an original text.)
Artist's Education: HoschÜle der Kunst in Berlin MeisterschÜler (bei Rebbeca Horn), Berlin, GermanyHoschÜle der Kunst in Berlin (Tajiri Class), Berlin, Germany