Hyunbae LEE
(b. 1979, Korea)
Hyunbae LEE is an oil painter whose works appear abstract at first glance. He seemingly paints the sky, and yet simultaneously captures an infinite and timeless space akin to a parallel universe.

Lee’s artistic is unique and symbolic of his personal life. He first pours diluted ink or oil onto the canvas, later blowing it with a hairdryer to create ripples and waves. The layers seem to form mountains and valleys, pouring into one another to create a unified landscape. The author relates his medium of choice to his personal life, feeling that the combination of oil and water reflects on his dual training in Western and Oriental painting alongside other mental dualities.

Hyunbae Lee was born in Korea. He received his BFA and MFA in Painting from Hongik University. Hyunbae Lee has held solo exhibitions in galleries such as UDB Gallery (Christchurch, New Zealand), Insa Art Center (Seoul), and Gallery Young (Seoul). His works have been featured in group exhibitions around Seongnam Art Center (Seoul), Kwanhoon Gallery (Seoul), Art Caociung (Taipei, Taiwan) and the Seoul City Museum of Fine Arts amongst others. His works have been collected by Whitireia Polytechnic (Porirua, New Zealand) and Seoul City Museum of Fine Art.

I want my works to be free and autonomous by giving them spirit and body. I have always been interested in the eyes’ perception. When I was young, I saw a translucent floating thing right in front of my eyes which my friend next to me couldn’t see. I thought it was an alien but it was a ‘floater’ which is a phenomenon of floating cells in the eyes distorting lights. It happens differently with different sight conditions. Then I realized that “seeing” is not objective, but subjective. It led me to the question of ‘What is real when people see things?’. After this, in the year 2006, I became focused on realism with the most subjective and unclear forms. I call it …. I am not a swift man living in this high-tech world. Flesh 3D graphics are everywhere and I am always questioning if I could do anything as a visual artist today. The special effect techniques have evolved while the height of expression is diminished. However, it makes me more attached to the paintings and my works are getting better. Paint is not only my material, but also my subject and object. It can be anything. The paint on my canvas does not try to depict or portray any forms, rather it moves from tubes onto the palette, from palette to the canvas, from 3D to 2D, or from 2D to 3D.

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