LEE ByungChan

Korea Tomorrow 2015

Since 2003, Songdo international city, which is approximately 12 times the size of Yeouido, has been under construction in Yeonsu-gu, Incheon. A convention center, international schools, shopping malls, an ecological pavilion, golf courses, trade centers, multipurpose buildings, and parks are scheduled to be completed on reclaimed land by 2025. This new city is being constructed under attention from the media and national headlines including Favorable factors for development, Songdo’s bright prospects for its commercial zones, Chinese people surging into Songdo international city and Favorable factors in Songdo real estate.

Byung-chan Lee, who went to university here, was deeply impressed by the power of capital that enables city development. The power of forming a city is concentrated on enhancing the value of its commodities. A capitalized city is a commodity, and the spaces created in a city are also commodities. Lee pays attention to the waste deriving from development earned from promotional banners created to sell apartments and officetels (small apartments for work and living in Korea), multi-purpose buildings with residential and commercial units and leaflets urging investment for high returns, and a huge amount of vinyl waste. From this, he imagined creating his own “living life forms” with abandoned vinyl envelops.

At his first solo show in 2010, Lee presented an artificial ecosystem with the images of deer, flowers, and trees made from the brightly colored vinyl envelopes into which he blew air. He melted disposable vinyl envelopes with a lighter and gave them a sense of movement by filling them with air. His figurative sculptures modeled after natural forms are like organically deformed chimera. He entitled these works Urban Creatures, putting them in a stark contrast with the concrete buildings of Songdo.

Artists have made sustained efforts to reveal the underlying spirit of things with imagination, surrealism, dreams, and contingency. Their acts of lending visible form to spirit are reminiscent of the goals of ancient alchemists. They presumed there was “spirit within matter.” This spirit inhabits animate objects. Lee sees the glass-capped cube of the Corner Art Space as a place of illusion where “urban creatures” dwell, raising common vinyl envelopes to the level of art by imbuing them with life. Those living their hectic lives in a city of desire and greed face the light these weird urban creatures radiate.

Ji -Yoon Yang, Director




LEE ByungChan
Born in 1987, Korea

2015 Incheon catholic art&design university graduate school, Urban environment sculpture
2010 Incheon catholic art&design university, Environment sculpture

2015 The Illusion in the Mirror, Corner Art Space, SEOUL
2014 Natural History Museum, 72-10 Mullae-dong 1(il)-ga, Yeongdeungpo-gu, SEOUL
2013 Laputa, Multipurpose Art EMU, SEOUL
2012 Evolution of Urban, seed, SUWON
2011 Creature, venster galerie, ANTWERP, BELGIUM
2010 Life Blooming, AG GALLERY, SEOUL

2015 Unexpected Encounter, Buk Seoul Museum of Art, Buk SeMA, SEOUL
Objects Extraordinary, Gyeongnam Art Museum, GAM, CHANGWON
2014 Low technology, Seoul Museum of art, SeMA, SEOUL
Dialogue, Yangpyeong art museum, YANGPYEONG
2013 Life is beautiful, KAIST KI Building, DAEJEON
Inaugural Exhibition ‘I love Seoul, Buk Seoul Museum of art, Buk SeMA, SEOUL
Changwon Asian Art Festival, Sungsan art Hall, CHANGWON


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