Jaehyo Lee – 0121-1110=193061, 1993, stones
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.
“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.”
Andy Goldsworthy – Touching North, 1989, North Pole
Andy Goldsworthy’s installed sculptures at the North Pole
In 1989, Andy Goldsworthy created four massive snow rings at one the most remote place on Planet Earth, the North Pole. These ephemeral sculptures marked the position of the North Pole and were built around it. Through any of the four sculptures, the direction will always be south.
The material was cut and built in the white on white environment. The artist learned snow-cutting and packing techniques from a traditional indigenous source, an Inuit based in the Ellesmere Island, Canada’s third-largest island, the 10th-largest island in the world and the most northerly island in the Arctic Archipelago. In winter 1989, before leaving for the North Pole, he wrote: “It belongs to no one — it is the Earth’s common — an ever-changing landscape in which whatever I make will soon disappear.”