Lilac Gallery New York is pleased to present “Condensation Ensemble” a solo exhibition of works by Lee Kwan Woo, from October 19 - November 5, 2017.
By bringing the many into one, yet never losing the shining clarity of each individual, artist Lee Kwan Woo makes a statement that goes beyond art and speaks directly to his view of life. Lee is a talented Korean artist who combines ancient tools and contemporary vision to create complex works of art that carry many layers of meaning. His Korean heritage is stamped on each work, yet the most fundamental message of his art is universal. Kwan Woo creates paintings that are not made of paint. His two-dimensional surfaces are actually not flat at all.
All yet, it is difficult to describe them as sculpture. His elemental forms are at once unique and representative of mass production. A harmonious form of contradiction seems to be the artist's chosen environment. Lee's works are composed of stamps. Each stamp carries a word or a pictograph or just a design of the artist's concept. The stamps are placed, in an uneven, undulating layer, across a flat surface. Some just out, some receded. They create fields and waves when seen at a distance. As a forest is composed of trees, and an ocean of infinite drops of water, so Lee's constructions achieve completion by the accumulation of many. Stamps have been used in Asian society for centuries. Like our signatures, they represent the individual whose name is contained in them. And, as signatures, they carry weight. Legal, social and sealed by stamps. They declare "this is me, and this is my intent." In themselves, they can be beautiful, artful objects. Asian stamps have acquired a poignancy in recent decades as they have become anachronistic and abandoned.
Lee describes how moved he was when, many years ago, he "discovered seals among the trash and debris left behind in some empty or deserted home." Realizing that each of those seals bore vestiges of lives they represented and what loss of history and rich heritage would vanish when the trash was collected and removed, he reclaimed them and made them his new medium. After having worked on these pieces for mare than a quarter of a century, Lee has left behind those original wooden stamps and now creates individual stamps of his own design, fashioned from 21st-century materials, like resin.
Lilac Gallery New York is pleased to present “Incidental Expressions” an exhibition of works by Roh Jae-soon, of a stunning collection of oil paintings depicting a beautiful woman's lips done in a photo realistic style.
Roh Jae-soon began to draw from the early days. Sometimes he drew the whole body but mostly focused on eyes and faces. This collection of the lip work has its significance in telling the story of the world. The moment the artist commits the photographed lips to the canvas, the atmosphere and message of the art work are determined. For instance, tight lips express the absence of communication and open lips the carpe-diem kind of gaiety. Depending on the expression of the lips, some lips suggest hope for the future, and only the lips are highlighted. Roh expresses the lips in various ways. Looking at the works of Roh Jae-soon, we can feel many stories being told through just one simple element: the mouth. Roh refuses to let daily life slide by, incorporating elements of sympathy into his paintings. If the sentence inscribed on the wall becomes a sentence, the lips on the canvas will tell stories as if they had become a reporter. We can hear the cry of the times through Roh Jae-soon’s canvases, embracing the stories of the world. The lips drawn on the canvas are about to tell a story. Roh's drawings are not simply the lips, but the ‘expression’ of the lips.
Bassmi Ibrahim has chosen a life in abstract painting to give access to a space beyond words. Rather than representing the outer shape of the world, these paintings express the fluid dynamism of all life. His work is a dance in between the artist and the medium allowing both intuitive fluidity and disciplined control.
In the studio the white canvas is contemplated in meditative silence, enabling Bassmi to enter into a special plateau of his inner being. The image shows itself like a light unfolding over the surface of the canvas. Each work is totally spontaneous and usually made in a single session of several hours and then revisited numerous times to add layers of depth and tonal value. He uses diluted oils and synthetic varnishes to create moving forms in translucent layers of color. The painting is totally alive during its creation, combining freedom of movement with an innate sense of aesthetic balance. The beauty and subtlety of what takes shape can only come from deeper layers of the inner self.