The Columns Gallery is pleased to launch Lee Sea Hyun's first solo show in Singapore with his breathtaking series of expansive, monochromatic landscape paintings that blend tradition and contemporaneity.
Lee's landscape paintings in the series titled 'Between Red' are epic depictions of mountainous terrains in Korea, created in a visual style reminiscent of traditional ink. Swathes of white canvas contrast against the painstakingly detailed sketches of undulating cliffs and craggy shorelines, rendered in delicate washes of monochromatic red that resemble the ethereal quality of discoloured film stock or retinal afterimages. Interspersed among these fragments of land are isolated dwellings and quiet signs of urbanity, such as a row of twinkling street lights that line a jetty or smoke billowing out of an unpopulated train station.
The overwhelming sense of tranquility that his landscapes conjure belie the fact that they are depictions of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) cutting across the Korean Peninsula, derived from Lee's personal experiences of conducting nightly surveys in the tactical area through infrared glasses as part of his mandatory military service. Lee's portrayals of the DMZ as an idyllic, natural world unmarred by human conflict or indications of a single, definite temporal plane rebukes the common associations that the DMZ and North Korea carry in popular imagination.
Lee Sea Hyun, born 1967 in Geojaedo Island, Korea, is a South Korean artist. Lee received his M.F.A. from Chelsea College of Art & Design and his M.F.A and B.F.A from Hongik University in Seoul, Korea. Lee's solo and group exhibitions have been held across the globe at major art institutions such as Neuberger Museum of Art, New York; Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; Susak Expo, Island of Susak, Croatia; Museum of Hunabaci, Japan; Vestfossen Museum, Norway and Santralistanbul Museum, Istanbul; Late at Tate Britain, London; Ljubljana Graphic Biennale, Slovenia; Future Pass at ILLUMInations Biennale Venezia, Italy. Lee's works are included in many notable public collections, varying from All Visual Arts, London; Bank of America, USA; Berger Collection, Zurich, Switzerland; Collection of Caralie Etroy, London; Collection of James Li, Beijing; Collection of Lorraine, Barrick, Seattle, USA; Fidelity Investment, Boston, USA; Hana Bank Collection, Seoul; Microsoft Art Collection, USA; Uil Sigg Collection, Zurich; LEEUM Collection, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea; Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China; Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; Art Bank, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea.