Kun-Yong Lee

BODYSCAPE 76-1-2017

acrylic and pencil on canvas
67 3/8 x 59 1/2 inches

One of the leading figures in Korean conceptual and performance art, Kun-Yong Lee devises performances with constraints that shape and limit the artist’s action, emphasizing the relationship between body and space. Lee makes these Body Drawings from behind a canvas cut to his height, stretching his arm over the top to make marks on the front of the piece. The first choppy row of lines is then cut away or folded down, shortening the overall piece and allowing Lee to access more of the drawing’s surface when reaching over to make a second row of marks longer than the first. This second row is then removed or folded, and the action is repeated again and again until he has marked the entire surface of the canvas and segmented it into four or five panels. Based on a performance he created in 1976 during the authoritarian regime in South Korea, the composition comes from the proportions of Lee’s own body and its physical limitations. Lee has exhibited and performed in Korea for over 50 years, been awarded numerous prizes and accolades, and his work has been included in solo and group exhibitions throughout Korea Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the US.