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Eye Trace
by Doosan Gallery
Location: Doosan Gallery
Artist(s): Hyung Koo LEE
Date: 6 May - 17 Jun 2010

Doosan Gallery Seoul is pleased to present new works by Hyungkoo Lee, an artist who has attracted the world’s attention after his exhibition at the Venice Biennale and the Switzerland Museum of Natural History. Titled Eye Trace, the show will be on view from May 6th to June 17th. It is Lee’s first solo show in Korea since 2006.

With his The Objectuals and Animatus series, Hyungkoo Lee expanded and distorted human body parts or traced the skeletons of animation characters. Lee has presented artworks that combine scientific research and artistic creativity based on his interest in the deformation and distortion of the human body.

In The Objectuals series, Lee created devices that are similar to medical equipment that can be worn around the head, on the hand, etc. These devices abnormally expand or overlap certain body parts to express the hidden desires of the human body. However, these pseudo-scientific devices do not change the essential human structure, but they just expand and distort what is seen on the outside. The distorted images that exist solely in external views display Lee’s virtual world where the concept of introverted desire can be objective.

The Animatus series, in contrast with The Objectuals series, shows the internal cores that support the outer appearance, thus encouraging the viewer to imagine the physical appearance. The skeletons are elaborately made, as if such species have actually existed in the world. They have large eye sockets or abnormally large fangs, but it is not very difficult to know what they are. They are popular animation characters that have been brought to life by pseudo-scientists. Some of the characters are Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, and Tom and Jerry. Lee traces the skeletons of these virtual characters based on his knowledge of human and animal anatomy and biology to show as if the really did exist in reality.

Lee, who has worked with the deformation of physical bodies in reality and fantasy, attempts a new study of sensory organs in this exhibition. The title Eye Trace signifies the common knowledge of how the sense of vision works and how external stimuli are transmitted to the brain through the eye to evoke various physical reactions. By experiencing the vision of insects, fish, and other animals, we can trace the vision of humans based on the difference in physical reactions that the visual stimuli evoke in different species.

Hyunkoo Lee (1969-) studied sculpture at Hongik University in Seoul, Korea, and completed his master’s degree in sculpture at Yale University. He has held solo exhibitions in Sungkok Museum (2004), Arario Gallery (2006, 2008), and Basel Museum of Natural History in Switzerland (2008). At the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007), he has the first exclusive solo exhibition in the history of Korean Pavillion. He has also participated in various exhibitions in Korea’s National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul Museum of Art, and Samsung Museum of Art, Leeum, and all around the world, including the U.S., U.K., France, and China. In 2009 Lee participated in the DOOSAN  Artist in Residence Program in New York as one on the first group of artists.

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