Requiem - Exhibition by Lee Ufan
Arles - Art contemporain - From 30/10/2021 to 12/06/2022, daily except on January 1st, May 1st, November 1st and December 25th.
Alongside the ancient sarcophagi that dot this city of the dead, the Korean artist's Relatum (sculptures comprising several associated elements) enter into a dialogue with these rectangular stones aligned on the path leading to the Saint Honorat church or arranged in the chapels. "The sepulchres make the ground all bumpy" noted Dante in his Hell as he walked through the Arles necropolis. Lee Ufan, following painters such as Van Gogh or Gauguin, who were also fascinated by their silent poetry, respectfully took over these ancestral places.
Sculpture for Lee Ufan is not an independent and autonomous entity, but only exists in relation to the outside world. The materials that are gathered there (iron plates and blocks of stone most often) constitute an encounter, a connection with the world, nature, architecture.
Depending on the works, he will decide on a subtitle that will induce a certain approach to the sculpture in the combination of the elements that compose it: the narrow road, the silence, the inhabited space, etc. The term requiem comes up here several times in the titles, reminding us that we walk through a huge cemetery. We are in the presence of a work both founded on a thought anchored in the history of art, in full complicity with contemporary approaches, but also on philosophical data, nourished by the cultural origins of the artist, not without associating them with certain European philosophers whom he studied in depth.
By focusing his work on a simple gesture of intense concentration when painting and a combination of clearly identified and repeated materials in the sculptures, Lee Ufan has chosen to link doing and not doing. He defines his artistic production as a meeting between the interior and the exterior allowing to envision a poetic space, the one he calls "art of resonance". It starts from the principle that "seeing, choosing, borrowing or moving is already part of the act of creation" and connects nature to human consciousness with a simple iron plate in dialogue with a natural stone.
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