Our top 10: Massive organic sculptures by Jaehyo Lee (이재효)

Jaehyo Lee 이재효 - 0121-1110=193061, 1993, stones
Jaehyo Lee0121-1110=193061, 1993, stones

Biography

Jaehyo Lee (b. 1965, Hapchen, South Korea) graduated in 1992 with a BFA from the Hong-Ik University in Seoul. Combining distinct traces of Land Art, Arte Povera and Minimalism Lee´s works cast a questioning eye over the roots of form, its function and its role within the natural world.

Lee´s works willfully play with the oft-contested boundaries between modern art and design, referencing the idealist´s cubes, cylinders and cones as perversions of the chaise longue, the coffee table, the lampshade, and even the humble doughnut. Revealing a subtly humorous and unsentimental attitude to nature, what unites these works is a belief that the beauty of art is a product of the labor from whence it comes, whether this be the meticulous carving of larch trunks into the form of a perfect sphere or, equally, the precise bending and sanding of thousands of nails hammered one after another into a hunk of cut lumber.

Artist’s Statement
“Until recently, my work has been about combining wood with nails or steel bars and integrating them into geometrical shapes such as spheres, hemispheres, or cylinders. Whenever I did this, one of my problems was to keep the nails and bolts out of sight. Now, on the contrary, I put an emphasis on the nails themselves. I drive countless nails into wood, bend them, grind them, and make them protrude. I then burn the wood, blackening its growth ring records and its natural color. The glittering metallic nails on the black charcoal become ever more conspicuous, and through this process, I draw a picture on wood using nails. Those who make a hard living may be the ones who make this world a beautiful place. I certainly do not have the power to make it beautiful. I just hope to reveal the beauty in what is usually seen but not noticed. It may be a rusty bent nail. If you take a close look at it, however, you’ll find out how beautiful it can be.”
-Jaehyo Lee

Jaehyo Lee 이재효 - Lotus, 2013, Wood (Korean Big Cone Pine), 216 in; 548.6 cm
Jaehyo LeeLotus, 2013, Wood (Korean Big Cone Pine), 216 in; 548.6 cm

Jaehyo Lee 이재효 - 0121-1110=102101, 2002, 350x350x350cm, wood
Jaehyo Lee0121-1110=102101, 2002, Wood, 350x350x350cm

Jaehyo Lee 이재효 - 0121-1110=107041, 520 x 520 x 520 cm, wood, Korean Eye, Saatchi, 2012
Jaehyo Lee0121-1110=107041, 2002, Wood, 520 x 520 x 520 cm, installed at the exhibition Korean Eye, Saatchi Gallery, London, 2012

Jaehyo Lee 이재효 - 0121-1110=114047, 2014, 700x700x700cm, wood
Jaehyo Lee0121-1110=114047, 2014, Wood, 700x700x700cm

Jaehyo Lee 이재효 - 0121-1110=191111, 1991, 300x300x350cm, stone
Jaehyo Lee0121-1110=191111, 1991, Stone, 300x300x350cm

Jaehyo Lee 이재효 - 0121-1110=197073, 1997, 220x220x350cm, stone
Jaehyo Lee0121-1110=197073, 1997, Stone, 220x220x350cm

Jaehyo Lee 이재효 - 0121-1110=194051, 1994, 150x150x150cm, grass
Jaehyo Lee0121-1110=194051, 1994, Grass, 150x150x150cm

Jaehyo Lee 이재효 - 0121-1110=115075, 2015, 560x130x360cm, wood
Jaehyo Lee0121-1110=115075, 2015, Wood, 560x130x360cm

Jaehyo Lee 이재효 - 0121-1110=1110112, 2011, size variable, snow
Jaehyo Lee0121-1110=1110112, 2011, Snow, size variable

 

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