Enemy at the Gate (Fear series I )

Lee, Seungae2008

Korean Art Museum Association

Korean Art Museum Association
Seoul, South Korea

This is a scene that a monster remembers the very moment that it has been dragged into; it is wearing a mask and cutting off its hands. It is the first day of its 20 years cruel imprisonment. It prepares for battle with the enemies out of the door with an extreme fear caused from a haunting moment.


  • Title: Enemy at the Gate (Fear series I )
  • Creator: Lee, Seungae
  • Date Created: 2008
  • Physical Dimensions: w1700 x h2100 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Pencil on paperboard
  • 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: Private collection
  • Artist's Education: Sungshin Women’s University, B.F.A., Painting.

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