Korean artist Seulgi Lee expresses a desire to recognise what we have forgotten in a modern society.

Gallery Hyundai in Seoul showcases “DAMASESE”, a new solo exhibition of Paris-based Korean artist Seulgi Lee. Art Radar takes a close look at Seulgi Lees oeuvre and the meaning of the DAMASESE.

Seulgi Lee, “DAMASESE”, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, 2018. © Seulgi Lee and Adagp. Image courtesy Gallery Hyundai, Seoul.

Seulgi Lee, “DAMASESE”, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, 2018. © Seulgi Lee and Adagp. Image courtesy Gallery Hyundai, Seoul.

DAMASESE DAMASESE DAMASESE DAMASESE SURI SURI DAMA DAMA SSEU EU EUK DAMA SUSU OKSUSU DAMAS DAMAS ABRACADABRA DAMA DAMA

With eight capital letters and an invented word inspired by votive expressions, the title “DAMASESE” is an incantation Seulgi Lee created to expand the primary movement of language and the hopes for the master craftsman. She wants to spread the word of DAMASESE to make her own wishes.

Galley Hyundai carries Lees desire and offers audiences an opportunity to recognise her artworks as anthropological objects and to summon what we have forgotten in our daily lives by introducing a visual compression of imagination and linguistic structures within myths, tales and proverbs.

Lees works employ various media, with an emphasis on textiles and installation, and are distinguished by geometric patterns and vigorous colours. Her approaches are all contributing to the reinterpretation of conventional objects, like blankets and baskets, to explore universal experiences such as dreams, oral histories, and the linearity of history and language by posing questions towards things taken for granted.

Seulgi Lee, 'Ginkgo Project B', 2018, ginkgo leaf, paint, variable size. © Seulgi Lee and Adagp. Image courtesy Gallery Hyundai, Seoul.

Seulgi Lee, ‘Ginkgo Project B’, 2018, ginkgo leaf, paint, variable size. © Seulgi Lee and Adagp. Image courtesy Gallery Hyundai, Seoul.

Ginkgo Project B

The Ginkgo Project B, presented for the first time in “DAMASESE”, is an installation filled with ginkgo leaves in the exhibition space on the first floor. This work examines the meaning of ginkgo leaves as a mundane object and provides visitors with an engaging experience of colours that change through time in contrast to the intended colours of the wall.

Ginkgo Project B also connects to “Blanket Project U” and “Basket Project W” series. The vertical lines inside of the ginkgo leaves remind of patchwork blankets and the texture of the baskets. Furthermore, “Ginkgo Project B” is a series that breaks the boundary between ‘outside’ and ‘inside’, a concept that Lee has been steadily pursuing as a continuation of DUSK SOUP”, which was presented at the gallery HO in Marseille in 2014.

Seulgi Lee, 'Project O', installation view at Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, 2018, wood, paint, 88 x 169.5 x 124(h) each. © Seulgi Lee and Adagp. Image courtesy Gallery Hyundai, Seoul.

Seulgi Lee, ‘Project O’, installation view at Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, 2018, wood, paint, 88 x 169.5 x 124(h) each. © Seulgi Lee and Adagp. Image courtesy Gallery Hyundai, Seoul.

Tamis Project O

Another work introduced for the first time at the exhibition is Tamis Project O. For this project, Lee collaborated with a wooden net craftsman in the midwest of France to recreate the old style French grain-weighing device called boisseau, a round barrel, to measure the weight of colour she presents. Lee took the shape of boisseau, made one with a 30-year-old Beech tree and painted the inside of the circle frame. These works were installed at a height of two metres, hanging from the ceiling, allowing viewers to look up at the works from below to recognise the witty connection of the shape of the vowel sounds a, e, i, o, u in their different shapes.

Seulgi Lee, 'Project O', installation view at Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, 2018, wood, paint, 88 x 169.5 x 124(h) each. © Seulgi Lee and Adagp. Image courtesy Gallery Hyundai, Seoul.

Seulgi Lee, ‘Project O’, installation view at Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, 2018, wood, paint, 88 x 169.5 x 124(h) each. © Seulgi Lee and Adagp. Image courtesy Gallery Hyundai, Seoul.

Seulgi Lee, “DAMASESE”, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, 2018. © Seulgi Lee and Adagp. Image courtesy Gallery Hyundai, Seoul.

Seulgi Lee, “DAMASESE”, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, 2018. © Seulgi Lee and Adagp. Image courtesy Gallery Hyundai, Seoul

Recently, Lee collaborated with the luxury fashion brand Hermès on a series of limited edition cashmere quilts, as well as with furniture brand IKEA in the Art Lug Project (alongside Virgil Abloh and other creatives) that will be released and sold for a limited time from spring 2019.

Through this exhibition, Seulgi Lee hopes to recollect and reflect on things we have forgotten in modern society by reconnecting the reality and hidden world of myths, stories and proverbs through banal objects.

Soo Jeong Kang

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“DAMASESE” by Seulgi Lee is on view from 15 November to 23 December 2018 at Gallery Hyundai, 14 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-190, Korea.

Related Topics: Korean, gallery show, mixed media, installation, textiles, Seoul

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Brittney

By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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