PKM Gallery is pleased to present The Fortress of Sense, a solo exhibition by Sang Nam Lee, from 17 March to 16 April. The exhibition features the newest and large-scale paintings that reflect the artist's mature skills, including a 3.8 metres wide panel work, which are displayed throughout the entire gallery spaces.
Sang Nam Lee has collected icons and signs left by human civilisation, and has created a unique 'abstract landscape' by composing and combining numerous geometric symbols through 'chewing on' these graphics. His artificial abstract paintings, which are produced in a meditative process of repainting and sanding down 50–100 times, reflect our lives in the 21st century where digital and analog coexist.
In this exhibition, Sang Nam Lee presents undisclosed new works with an expanded pool of colours and a deeper sense of perspective. The senses accumulated inside the artist for more than 40 years have consistently encountered the confined materiality of a canvas or wood panel, resulting in an explosive actualisation.
... Compressed sensations are constantly piling up in front of us like a brick wall of hallucinations. Foucault urges; Remember the irony during the era of The Great Confinement, where lunatics were detained in thick walls but were 'liberated' from the chains that held them down. Oppression and liberation coexist in Sang Nam Lee's painting. It is a solid but hysterically captivating fortress of sense. –Shinyoung Chung (art critic)
The artificial landscapes of Sang Nam Lee require extensive manual labor and at the same time flexibly move around the fields of painting, design, and architecture. They also exist in a manner that allows for various responses from the audience rather than forcing a fixed meaning or result. In the current era of image and information overload, Lee's works will grab the viewers' eyes, inviting them to a visual journey where imagination, entertainment, purification, and everything else is possible.
Born in Seoul in 1953, Sang Nam Lee graduated from Hongik University in 1978 with a major in Painting, and has been working and living in New York since 1981. Lee has held more than 20 solo exhibitions at national and international top-tier art institutions including Elga Wimmer Gallery in New York and Galerie Åpert in Amsterdam, and participated in group exhibitions at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea, Seoul; National University Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; as well as prestigious international art events such as the 3rd Mediations Biennale in Poznań and the 15th Bienal de São Paulo. Art critiques of Lee's works have been published in internationally renowned journals such as the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Art Forum, Art in America, and Art Asia Pacific. His large-scale wall paintings are permanently installed at public institutions such as the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Embassy of Republic of Korea in Japan, and the lobby of the Poznań airport in Poland.
Press release courtesy PKM Gallery.