Zoom into Lee Ungno's 'Composition (1972)'

By Lee Ungno Museum

Composition (1972) by Lee UngnoLee Ungno Museum

A great example of the constructive Abstract Letter works that Lee Ungno made in the 1970s, this painting represents the Chinese character 壽 (soo), meaning ‘life’.

The solid construction of the letter strokes is different to the distinctive gestural brushstrokes of his calligraphic Abstract Letter paintings. Ungno cut paper with different textures into the shapes of the letter strokes, glued them onto hanji...

...and drew the outlines of the shapes with ink.

In Western art practice, collage was intended to portray reality and therefore, in any mediums, from posters to newspapers, it creates a great tension between its different functions as an indication of reality and as an aesthetic component of an artwork; whereas whatever the medium, Ungno’s collage functions as a sheer artistic element.

In this work, even the thick strands from the edge of the background paper and...

...the coarse particles seen in the letterform contribute to the artistic construction of the work.

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