Absolute Courage

Seungae Lee2010

Korean Art Museum Association

Korean Art Museum Association

There is an Asian tradition of hanging a picture of a tiger - often considered as a ‘God of mountain’ - as it was believed to protect their home from disasters. The traditional faith mixed with the artist’s childhood memories became an icon of ‘absolute courage,’ which exists to face a rough journey of life.

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  • Title: Absolute Courage
  • Creator: Lee, Seungae
  • Date Created: 2010
  • Physical Dimensions: w1630 x h2030 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Pencil on paper
  • Critic's Note: From the beginning for Lee’s career her creatures closely resembled common monster-like figures. They were expected to look threatening and aggressive in their abnormal shapes in order to ward off others. Her monsters do inhabit the typical role of something evil to be destroyed; rather, she protects them from harm. As she takes the monsters under her wing and gives each one a specific lifestyle, history, and survival strategy. They seem to exist under much different circumstances. This tells us that any position one may take on an issue is subject to a complete reversal. The situation thus becomes more complicated and contradictory in the course of evolving these monsters over time. The fantasy Lee creates is representative of the malformed nature that disrupts order but remains eerily close to reality. Lee’s pieces currently on view, not only act as guardians, but also depict the inner conflicts that she encounters in everyday life. This constant torment, be it trivial or significant, can normally be treated as a vice, yet Lee embraces these inevitable inner struggles by perceiving them as helpful. She believes that she will overcome them in the end and views them as critical aspects of her survival. While the monsters previously existed only in their own realm, Lee brings them down to the ground and pulls them out into our world.
  • Collection: Arario Collection
  • Artist's Education: Sungshin Women’s University, B.F.A., Painting.