Jongwang Lee "Liquid Soul"

Susan Eley Fine Art

poster for Jongwang Lee "Liquid Soul"

This event has ended.

LIQUID SOUL presents some 20 paintings completed in the past two years, which include an extensive portrait series of Abraham Lincoln, several Buddhas and a rich array of abstract work, all rendered in Leeʼs signature mix of resin, oil paint and pigment.
Leeʼs paintings are comprised of up to a dozen layers of this unique combination of materials. Like living creatures preserved in
amber, the artistʼs vibrant colors pop from beneath a gem-like, glossy layer of resin. This stunning finish supports the philosophy he wishes to convey.
Leeʼs approach to image-making negotiates a balance between the spiritual and
physical worlds. Drawing inspiration from Buddhist concepts and other cultural and spiritual traditions of his native Korea, Lee believes that the best life is in equilibrium. If one can achieve balance, one can achieve peace. Leeʼs paintings are physical representations of his ideal way of life.
The impetus behind his current work is a concept called Spacewomb. Leeʼs
recent work proposes a womb-like mindset: protected, peaceful and free from strife and confrontation. The all-over quality of Leeʼs spacewomb paintings represent a return to liquid beginnings; like the earth, the human body is 73% water. The dynamic surfaces of Leeʼs paintings imitate the flux of life and create a tension between movement and stasis, life and half-life, peace and alienation. Lee works in both abstract and representational styles. Informed by Cubism, Leeʼs portraits are not always as we expect. An eye floats or a foot protrudes—a breaking down of the physical to understand the metaphysical, a fluid quest for balance.
The subjects of much of his recent work are iconic, historical figures who have become his personal heroes—Abraham Lincoln, Jesus, Buddha. Though his devotion is largely secular, Lee admires these religious and historical figures for their sacrifices and their commitment to peace and balance. His figural works often blend binaries: male becomes female, east and west converge.
Much of Leeʼs artwork is influenced by his experience as a Korean immigrant to
the United States. The spacewomb circumvents questions of race, language and
membership. It is universalizing; we were all new once. “My art is a-political,” Lee explains, “I wish to show the alternative [to politics], to present the spacewomb, a place where there is peace.”

Jongwang Lee was born in Seoul, Korea in 1960. He attended Sunhwa Art High
School and received a BFA in Sumi-e painting and drawing from HongIk, University, Seoul, and an MFA from the National University of Tokyo Arts and Sciences, Japan.



from October 04, 2011 to November 10, 2011

Opening Reception on 2011-10-04 from 18:00 to 20:00


Jongwang Lee

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