“Paintings drawn by the transitory self, somewhat unknown, paintings written like texts by my own self, unfamiliar every moment, paintings done with dazzling colours that captivated me. And the swift and the slow speed of the strokes: those are what I have experienced. Then I have persistently striven to avoid marking the habitual brushstrokes.” - Lee Kang-So
MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique is pleased to present the works of Lee Kang-So, a leading figure in Korean experimental art since the 1970s. Born in 1943, Lee’s formative years were spent during a period of political authoritarianism in South Korea. His artwork reflects his desire to empower individuals while challenging Western notions of structural compositions and embracing the profound philosophical concepts rooted in Eastern traditions.
One of the key philosophies that influences Lee’s work is “pungryu,” which can be understood as “the harmony of phenomena in the universe”. It encompasses the belief in the coexistence of elements within the natural flow of the universe, merging the heavens, nature, and the self. Lee’s artistic creations are deeply influenced by these philosophical foundations, offering an alternative perspective to the analytical and rational worldview that has predominated over the past few centuries. Lee's body of work epitomises an artistic approach that transcends habitual Western notions of concept and structure. Instead, he instils faith in the audience's inherent capacity to find comfort and meaning by expanding and trusting their intuitive faculties. By liberating his art from constraining frameworks, Lee invites viewers to embrace their own intuition as they engage with his creations.
For his presentation at MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique, Lee Kang-So’s Serenity is a large-scale, abstract composition animated by vibrant brushstrokes in hues of black, grey and white. The artist merges painting, calligraphy, and the realms of figurative and abstract art with elements of quantum mechanics and Eastern Philosophy to visualise the concept of "Gi" (equivalent to "Chi" or energy). Their work transcends specific interpretations, inviting viewers into a fleeting and fantastical world that disappears upon recognition. By wielding energetic brushstrokes, the artist navigates between the visible and invisible, particles and energies, existence and non-existence, revealing multiple spacetime/universes.
His intention is to foster a “modest yet ceaseless change in the universe” through the interaction of “pure” energy from both himself and the observer. In this way, Lee’s artworks aim to establish a structure where mutual interaction and participation can occur.