blurring the line between Korean culture and fine arts.
Famed for her iconic paths, Hyun Joung Lee’s work reflects her childhood memories in South Korea, her studies in fine arts at Sejong University in Seoul, and her goldsmith training in Paris. She developed her own artistic language and techniques while working with traditional Korean materials.
out of the ordinary
It emphasizes the reliefs of this new material with Korean black ink, MUK and Korean pigments. Some of her works are enriched by the know-how that she has acquired in the world of goldsmith and jewelry. She doesn't want to be remembered for her technique, but for what's hidden behind her works, which she sees as life paths.
Just as a scent can bring back memories of a certain moment, so Lee’s paintings, which she calls paths, can awaken the history buried in each of us, and involve us in a personal and spiritual journey. Each line is seen as a day, or an instant we have already lived through or that we are still living in.
The way we are perceiving Lee’s paintings depends on our own inner world and imagination. Therefore, one can look at them without getting tired of looking.
Why we strongly believe in Lee Hyun Joung's talent.
"My paintings chime with the paths of our lives and the aim of the artist is indeed unveiled by the names I give to my works, but my paths might also be imaginary landscapes which are made up of deep forests, dunes, and waterscapes."
"There is not only one explanation, nor story in my art. The importance is that the spectator knows that his is the correct one."
Tending towards abstraction, the detail is evacuated in favor of the feeling of infinity and the uncertain nature of the figurative element: a wave could just as well be a mountain. Between each uninterrupted trace, the vacant white of the paper is not an inactive white. It corresponds to the idea, very widespread in the Taoist thought of emptiness and fullness, that the interval is what makes the connection between visible objects. And it is precisely after a time of silence, points out Lee Hyun Joung, that a line springs up: something happens against the background of nothing.
The lines, created to the rhythm of his body, overlap like musical staves or the undulations of the foreshore left by the low tide (…)Almost exclusively blue or black, the ink is also writing, which Lee Hyun Joung deploys on Hanji sheets, popular Korean papers made from mulberry paste. In Korea, Hanji paper is traditionally used for calligraphy, upholstering the walls and windows of the house, making objects. (…) the artist retains the irregularity and thickness of the fibres. The resulting support is a material-palimpsest, like shreds of memories accumulated to form a blanket.
Hanji is famously known for its strength and ability to be used for multiple purposes. They say that its origins can be traced back over 2000 years. Hanji making is an integral part of my artistic vision as it requires a long process comprising of numerous steps,and a meticulous care end to end. Instead of flattening the paper, I let the random embossed design to appear. I use my brush to create patterns of lines to emphasize or to impede the natural relief of the paper. By way of my own body’s movements I create a rhythm, without a structured plan.
Just as a scent can bring back memories of a certain moment, so my paintings, which I call paths, can awaken the history buried in each of us, and involve us in a personal and spiritual journey. Each line is seen as a day, or an instant we have already lived through or that we are still living in.
The story of a line.
Lee Hyun Joung, after studying Fine Arts in South Korea, came to settle in France and more particularly in Paris where she continues to transmit through her works an ancestral know-how that she transforms and adapts to a more contemporary vision. Her works are created on an ancestral Korean support that is Hanji paper. She reworks it in her own way in order to create her own support. From there she works with the ink that she manufactures using Korean stone as well.
From the beginning to the end of the creative process, Lee Hyun Joung invests herself physically and intellectually in each drawing. Her line, like a lifeline, is filled with delicacy. A story to be told, to be told with the brush, with the line.
Lee Hyun Joung says about herself: "Imaginary journeys between earth and sky, journeys between valleys and clouds, I invent starry paths where the eye wanders."
"From my past in Korea, I remember the materials, the beliefs of my ancestors."
"The mulberry-plane tree paper is the skin of this memory, This paper covered the floors of the houses, I saw it from my child's height. On it were printed the traces of footsteps, of life, and I was already imagining paintings, landscapes. Also, I paint, I underline with Chinese ink, I sprinkle with Korean pigments, so that the volumes leave their silent whiteness and show these colorful worlds that inhabit me."
"The paper leads me in its strange directions, and I let myself be guided. What dominates and transpires more of my personality is in the serenity."
From now on, Lee Hyun Joung is inspired by the wind, precisely by "the memory of the wind", which is embodied in the volutes, the waves, the mountains, the filaments, which signals the signature of the wind, impalpable, but readable in the memory of its passage, like time.
Signature of the wind that inscribes itself in time, in the footsteps of her earlier work, glued like a patchwork, like the Japanese Boros that sew together the debris of disappeared clothing, like fractal traces of her first recognizable works in filigree for those who follow it from the beginning.
Is it a wave or a mountain?
Lee Hyun Joung traces through her work the unique story of a life path. The image of an exodus, of a poetic quest whose only end is the contours of the paper. The repetition of her line brings her back to the initial point and projects her towards an elsewhere. Create landscapes that are as similar as they are unique.
The migration of the line, a back and forth, a slow and methodical, meticulous gesture that deconstructs and rebuilds a landscape. Lee Hyun Joung tells us about a common destiny, that of an intimate journey in which each line is a thread of life that is told
A graduate in visual arts from Sejong University in South Korea, Lee Hyun Joung develops a series of ink landscapes based on memories of her native country, which she mixes with dream projections of vast, unreal places.
The single horizon line is replaced by a multitude of parallel and sinuous lines, which slit and accumulate like geological strata or sediment ripples, giving a reading grid of the aerial views without scale or proportion.
Tending towards abstraction, detail is evacuated in favour of the sensation of infinity and the uncertain nature of the element represented: a wave could just as easily be a mountain.
Between each uninterrupted line, the blank space left vacant on the paper is not an inactive blank space. It corresponds to the idea, widely held in Taoist thought of emptiness and fullness, that the interval is what makes the connection between visible objects. And it is precisely after a period of silence, points out Lee Hyun Joung, that a line emerges: something happens against a background of nothing.
The lines, created to the rhythm of her body, are superimposed like musical staves or the ripples of the foreshore left by the low tide: they swell and recede like a breath.
Lee Hyun Joung likens these forms to a path of life, an initiatory walk that is less a matter of a delimited stage than of cyclical time, the one the Greeks called aiôn. Like the nature (desert, land, sea) to which it refers, each line drawn in ink tends to be generic, i.e. abstracted from the artist's personal journey to have a more universal scope.
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