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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.


Urodzona w 1970 roku w Hahdam, Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi-do. Ukończyła Wydział Malarstwa na Uniwersytecie Hongik w 1996 roku i studiowała za granicą w Niemczech w 1998 roku. Przyjęta na Akademię Sztuk Pięknych w Düsseldorfie w 1999 roku, specjalizująca się w czystym malarstwie pod kierunkiem profesora Markusa Lüpertza. W 2006 roku uzyskała tytuł Meisterschülera u profesora Markusa Lüpertza na Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Düsseldorfie. W 2009 roku uzyskała dyplom magistra sztuki na Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Düsseldorfie.

Wybrane wystawy:

2004 Indywidualna wystawa "Sweet Madness and Endless Pain" Interpretation of Goya, Aion Art Gallery, Vancouver

2008 Wystawa Grupowa "Choices of Clara" Kunstmühle, Salzburg, Austria

2008 Indywidualna wystawa "Light of Longing" Korean Cultural Center in Berlin, Galerie Korea

2008 Indywidualna wystawa"This Light", Cite internationale des Arte, Paris

2009 Wystawa Grupowa "Meister of the Morning" Galerie Gecko, Solingen

2009 Indywidualna wystawa "Secret of Transformation" Galerie 45, Aachen

2010 Indywidualna wystawa "Birth of Illusion" Galerie Janzen, Wuppertal

2010 Wystawa Grupowa "Immortal Star, Walter Benjamin and Valcraf Hapel" Museum Baden Solingen, Solingen Art Museum

2011 Indywidualna wystawa "Starry Night" Haus der Ärzteschaft, Düsseldorf

2012 Indywidualna wystawa "Water" Galerie Son, Berlin

2014 Wystawa Grupowa "Korea, Korea" Galerie Son, Berlin Joint exhibition of North and South Korea

2015 Wystawa Grupowa "Very Painting" Art Forumly Bucheon, Residency

2015 Indywidualna wystawa "Dreaming Landscape" Sendre Bagatelle, Berlin

2016 Wystawa Grupowa "Invitation of Respected Overseas Artists" Gyeonggi Jeongseon Art Museum, Seoul

2017 Indywidualna wystawa "Nostalgia" Galerie Damm, Berlin

2017 Wystawa Grupowa "Jeongseon, Drawing in Germany" Gyeonggi Jeongseon Art Museum  Group Exhibition "Jeongseon, Drawing in Germany" Ottilien Museum, Bavaria

2018 Wystawa Grupowa "Comfort Women Uncomforted" RK Gallery, Berlin

2018 Wystawa Grupowa "Returning Master Jeongseon and New Spirit" Saxony Federal Council, Berlin

2021 "Stage and Jazz Music - Cha Min" Paintang Performance - Kwangryu, Korean Cultural Center Berlin

2022 Indywidualna wystawa"Black Pietà - Black Compassion" Art Space Flask, Seoul

2023 Indywidualna wystawa "Kwang Lee" Kunsthaus Villa Jauss, Oberstdorf

2023 Wystawa Grupowa "Imagination" Special Exhibition of the Jeongjoksan Accident, Ganghwado

2023 Indywidualna wystawa "Immortal Chumin Black Jesus" Gallery MIM, Seoul

2023 Wystawa Grupowa "Transcendence" Hong Art Museum, Chongqing

2024 Indywidualna wystawa"Sewol Pieta Come Back Home" Junghyun Gallery, Wrocław, Poland


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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