Pontone Gallery is excited to present this exhibition of new digital pieces by the acclaimed Korean artist, Leenam Lee.
His practice spans several formats, from fine art sculpture to digital media, as reflected in his extensive curriculum vitae of international exhibitions and awards. This exhibition focuses on works from his rich and surprising manipulations of digital imagery. Each animated sequence is displayed on a large-screen, 'LED' television.
The artist uses classical, art-historical images as the basis of his animations. He draws on acknowledged masterpieces of the cultural landscape: from Van Gogh, Velasquez, Klimt and eastern masters such as Chinese artist Guo Xi and Korean Kyon An. Upon these he builds scenes of growth, change and conflict. He creates clusters of cumulative events, transformations, overlays and juxtapositions, gradual accretions of information. Over time these events build, multiply and intensify only to dissipate, fade and fall away returning the image to a state of calm. For example, in 'The Battle of Civilisation' what begins as a placid and beautiful rendition of a mythical landscape becomes occluded and invaded by startling science fiction imagery, which builds to a frenzied climax then retreats to reveal the original scene clad in the silent snows of winter.
His playful and surprising interventions induce anticipation. As we wait for the arrival of disparate images and symbols, we experience a mesmerising dramatic tension: how will the scene have its meaning altered?
Common to all these pieces is a sense of continuous modification and flux. In Leenam Lee's hands the well- known icon becomes a jumping-off point for lyrical invention. He breathes new life and re-animates the authoritatively familiar. He retains an over-riding concern for the aesthetic value of his source material, while emphasising the point that everything is mutable in his poetic scenes of growth and decay.