To Dream, to Collect


Lee Wan

Korea, Democratic People's Republic of

1 Works exhibited

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  • About the Artist
Lee Wan, recently nominated to represent Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2017, is an emerging Korean artist acclaimed for expressing with artistic and aesthetic quality the post-colonial timeliness that is often neglected by contemporary society. Throughout the Made In (2012-) film series, the artist contemplates on the social role of an art work and goes on to present new ways of approach in understanding visual art. Especially focusing on the structural problem embedded in the liberal democracy in Asia, the author aims to analyze and express the problem from socio-economic perspective. Lee Wan expresses dissent to our times where people are encroached in conventional perception, noting on the domination of uniformity in modern society. The artist has been persistently questioning the underlying social stereotype, convention, or the gaze of others, and has continued his works that tend to disrupt such inclination of our society. This conceptual world of the artist is best represented in his exhibitions ‘How to Become Us’ (installation works composed of 60 random objects tailored into the set weight of 5.06kg), ‘The Possibility of Impossible Things’ (visualization of the conceptual standard of uncertainty and certainty in the form of a scale), and ‘Forlorn Standard’ (expression of objects that are subordinated under the violence of the author who tries to turn every object into mirrors, regardless of each essence). The film series Made In sets off from the artist’s everyday experience of preparing his own breakfast. The artist films the entire process of the performance of ‘breakfast’ (through which the artist actually aims to complete a breakfast table of 2016), including his direct participation in the production of ingredients, plates, and clothes worn in the performance. Through the performance, the author bluntly shows current international politics and economics, as well as the progress and recent tendency of Asian Neo-liberalism from an activist’s perspective. This long-term project since 2012 is under process particularly in Asian countries including Burma, Thailand, and Cambodia which are the major producers of raw materials. In 2015, the process will further take place in locations such as China or Japan, in order to represent the dominant force among East Asian countries. In the video, Lee also points out the problems of child labor and exploitation of labor in the Third Countries, and the dichotomized social structure. This long-term project is to be concluded when the breakfast table of 2016 is finally prepared. Winning the first 'Art Spectrum Artist Award' by LEEUM in 2014, Lee Wan had his first gallery solo exhibition Silence in Between (2015) at 313 ART PROJECT and had solo exhibition Oh, Pure Love (2015) at Daegu Art Museum. He joined group exhibitions in Galleria Continua, Les Moulins (2014, 2015), Buk Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul (2015), etc..., and participated in the 10th Gwangju Biennale Burning Down the House (2014).

Works by Lee Wan

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