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Kwang Lee

We invite you to learn about the story of Kwang Lee


About the artist

The artist Kwang Lee is a disciple of Marcus Lüpertz, a master of German New Expressionism. She presents an original style that combines Korean with European artistic traditions. She aims to provide compassion and healing to those who are suffering and socially underprivileged, fusing her thoughts on Eastern religion and philosophy with modern religious art.

1970 경기도 연천 학담 출생
1996 홍익대 미술대학 회화과를 졸업하고 1998년 독일 유학
1999 쿤스트 아카데미 뒤셀도르프 입학, 마쿠스 뤼퍼츠 교수 지도 아래 순수회화 전공
2006 쿤스트 아카데미 뒤셀도르프 마쿠스 뤼퍼츠 교수로 부터 마이스터슐러 인증 수여
2009 쿤스트 아카제미 뒤셀도르프 디플롬 석사
주요 경력 과 전시 (선택)
2004   개인전 „ 달콤한 광기와 끝없는 아픔“  고야의 재해석전, Aion Art Gallery, 벤쿠버
2008  그룹전 „ 크라라의 선택“ Kunstmühle, 잘츠부르크, 오스트리아

2008  개인전 „ 갈망의 빛“ 주독 한국 문화원  Galerie Korea, 베를린
2008  개인전 „ 이 광“ , Cite internationale des Arte, Paris 파리
2009 그룹전 „ 아침의 마이스터“ Galerie Gecko, Solingen 졸링엔

2009 개인전 „ 변신의 비밀“ Galerie 45, Aachen 아켄
2010  개인전 „ 환영의 탄생“ Galerie Janzen, Wuppertal 부퍼탈

2010  그룹전 „ 불멸의 별, 고야로부터 발터 벤자민 그리고 발크라프 하펠“ Museum Baden
Solingen, Solingen 졸링엔 미술관
2011 개인전 „ 별이 빛나는 밤“  Haus der Ärzteschaft, Düsseldorf 뒤셀도르프
2012 개인전 „ 물“ Galerie Son, Berlin 베를린

2014 그룹전 „ 한국, 한국 “ Galerie Son, Berlin 남북한 공동전시회 베를린
2015 그룹전 “ Very Painting”아트포럼리 부천, 레지던시
2015 개인전 “ 꿈꾸는 풍경” 센드레 바가텔, 베를린
2016 그룹전 “재해외 유수작가 초청전“ 겸재 정선 미술관 서울
2017 개인전 ;향수; Galerie Damm 베를린
2017 그룹전“ 정선, 독일에서 그리다.“ 겸재정선미술관
      그룹전 „ 정선, 독일에서 그리다.“ 오틸리엔 미술관, 바이에른
2018 그룹전 “위안없는 위안부“ RK 갤러리, 베를린
2018 그룹전 돌아온 거장 정선과 새로운 정신작센주 연방의회, 베를린
2021 무대 2021와 재즈 음악 -차민 페인탕 퍼포먼스 - 광풍류, 한국문화원 베를린
2022 개인전 ;블랙 피에타-검은연민 아트 스페이스 플라스크, 서울
2023 개인전 Kwang Lee& Kunsthaus Villa Jauss, Oberstdorf
2023 그룹전 “상상” 전등사 정족산 사고 특별전, 강화도
2023 개인전 “불멸의 천민 검은 예수” 갤러리 밈, 서울
2023 그룹전 “초월” 홍아트미술관, 충칭
2024 개인전 “세월 피에타 집으로 돌아와” Junghyun gallery 브로츠와프 폴란드


Story of exhibition

The aesthetic of meeting and parting depicted in the Korean folk tale of Ojakgyo:

One of the most well-known Korean folk tales is the story of Ojakgyo, the legend of a shepherd and a weaver, whose origins likely date back to before the 4th century CE. This tale, which unfolds between the characters Gyeonu and Jiknyeo, has also been depicted in a mural from the historical Goguryeo empire, which can be seen in the town of Deokheung-ri, in the present-day South Pyongan province in North Korea.

The backdrop of the story is a celestial phenomenon in which two stars in the Milky Way come close together every year on Chilseok Day, the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. Gyeonu, known as Altair, and Jiknyeo, known as Vega, are deeply in love. However, their love angers the Jade Emperor, and they are separated across the expanse of the Milky Way. Once a year, magpies create a bridge, Ojakgyo, enabling Gyeonu and Jiknyeo to reunite. This story serves as inspiration for the exhibition "Sewol Pietà – Come back Home".

My work on the legend of Ojakgyo, particularly on the detail of the "Bridge of Magpies," dates back to the winter of 2011. At that time, I lived on the island of Sylt in northwest Germany. I immersed myself in a simple life, traveling to the eastern coast of the island every morning to watch the sunrise, and in the afternoon to the western coast near Westerland to watch the sunset over the sea, and then return to my studio. Looking out at the sea, I fell in love with observing birds living on the frozen winter sea—a hobby that brought me immense pleasure. But the sight of a flock of birds gracefully soaring over the sea stirred strange feelings in me. Feelings of "sorrow," "longing for something unattainable," as if something beyond the sea was calling to me, evoking in me a "sadness" that could not be expressed in words. I felt a desire to be "carried away" somewhere as I moved with the flocks of birds. It was then that the flock of birds seemed to represent the "Bridge of Magpies" from the legend of Ojakgyo. The flock of birds, which bridged the sky and the earth in a vast group dance, took me somewhere and broke the barrier in my mind between "reality" and "fantasy," "separation" and "connection." When I returned to the studio, I began to draw my Ojakgyo Bridge, a flock of birds crossing the black night sea like magpies on the Milky Way.

Where does the end of the "Bridge of Magpies" lead? It leads us to a place we can call home, where we find solace in the embrace of family, understanding, and acceptance. It offers comforting asylum, a reliable shelter for the heart. Who embodies this warmth, like the sun? Is it the unknown? Why do we long for home?

Bride of Crows

My "Bridge of Crows Sewol" as a mediator between the living and the deceased.

On April 16, 2014, the Sewol ferry, a passenger ship mainly carrying high school students, sank off the coast of Jindo Island in the East China Sea. The accident was a catastrophe that deeply shook the entire Republic of Korea. Ten years have passed, yet the pain and shock from years ago have not healed. Among the total of 304 victims, 250 were students. How can one capture the pain of parents losing their children overnight? At that time, everyone shared the pain of those who had to mourn the death of a child, and the entire country went through a period of deep mourning. During the investigation into the circumstances and background of the accident, an ugly truth emerged: the causes of the sinking of the Sewol ferry were linked to human greed and selfishness. One could say that the incident, which revealed the anger of contemporary capitalist society, ignited a cleansing fire in the hearts of the Korean people. The incident became a catalyst for the resignation of the president, who relied on incompetent, corrupt forces and led to actions aimed at combating widespread corruption and other undesirable phenomena in Korean society, rooted in materialism that dominates all aspects of our civilization. This movement is now known as the "Candlelight Revolution": a peaceful protest movement illustrating how people power as the core of the state became evident.

I believe that the Sewol ferry disaster sends an important message to today's contemporary society. It is a force akin to a vaccine that helps overcome the side effects caused by the difference between material and spiritual civilization. Through my artworks, I want to give life to the socially underprivileged, enabling them to overcome pain and sadness. I want to create significance that makes the victims important co-creators of purification and the survival of human consciousness so that their lives do not disappear into the depths of history as senselessly sacrificed lives.

In this context, in the work "Black Pietà," I express the sorrow of parents who have lost their children.

My "Bridge of Crows Sewol" is a bridge connecting innocently deceased children with their families who live in pain due to separation for a reunion. It is permeated by transcendent love, allowing that which is separated in the material world to meet in the spiritual world.

Art and religion exist in mysterious forms, difficult to grasp through Western science and rationalism.

In Korean folk religion, professional shamans perform a ritual called "possession," connecting the living and the dead through music, dance, and ancestral customs. This helps both spirits and the living resolve any remaining feelings and find closure. After the spirit of the deceased enters the body of the shaman, a ceremony is held to guide the spirit to heaven, allowing the family to bid farewell. This ritual, known as cheondo, is a significant act of sacrifice for the shamans, who temporarily host spirits in their bodies to facilitate this spiritual connection and healing.

In Korea, religious ceremonies conducted by these shamans, along with the spiritual connection between the physical and spiritual realms, are cherished as intangible cultural treasures. They are passed down from generation to generation and protected.

The work of the "Bridge of Magpies Sewol" is a ritual in which I, as an artist, provide solace to the souls of the victims of the Sewol ferry disaster. In essence, it serves as a bridge connecting the living and the dead, the material and the spiritual, aimed at healing and comforting those affected by the tragedy.

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