Lee Bul: Prints Curated by Xiaoyu Weng 4th November – 23rd December 2023 STPI Gallery 41 Robertson Quay Singapore 238236
The final instalment in a year-long celebration of its 21st Anniversary, STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery is pleased to present Lee Bul: Prints, an eponymous solo exhibition by the highly acclaimed Korean artist, curated by Xiaoyu Weng, an award-winning curator who has worked in institutions such as the Guggenheim and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Taking place from 4 November – 23 December 2023, the exhibition features over 60 works across five new series realised through thoughtful collaboration and exploration of the unlimited possibilities afforded by the STPI Creative Workshop. Using unconventional materials such as copper powder and iron filings, Lee’s new STPI body of works challenges the parameters of printmaking, and continues to question mankind’s pursuit of a singular narrative through technocratic progress and modernist ideals.
Inspired by Lee’s Souterrain (2012/2016) sculpture, the variations of the Untitled – SF series metamorphise, appearing like thousands of pieces of broken mirrors. Laboriously layered with as many as 16 layers of screen- and foil printing, the images call to mind dizzying nightscapes of a neon-lit concrete jungle where urban development and decay collide, becoming a ruin of fractured time-space.
A two-dimensional reincarnation of her iconic female cyborg sculptures, Untitled – CC continues to examine mankind’s desire to attain perfection through technology. Screenprinted with copper powder, the bizarre-shaped silhouettes oxidise, producing a range of patina effects – each print similar but never alike, as if another intrusion into the idea of seamless utopic conditions.
More highlights include the Untitled – SI series and Untitled – PI series, which share the same image provenance: a collage of explosions and mushroom clouds across a hellish landscape, created during her STPI residency. The pastel softness and candy colours of Untitled – PI appears almost utopic at first, but reveals its unsettling dystopic reality upon closer observation.
On the other hand, Untitled – SI plays strategically with iron filings that rust over time, emphasising the decaying, unrealised dreams of the grand narrative. In Lee Bul: Prints, the artist navigates the convergence of art, science and technology with a counter-intuitive sense of innovation, expressing their post-modern tensions through traditional print techniques and the paper medium.
Deeply rooted in history, these tools and expert knowledge stand in the STPI Creative Workshop today as emblems of a different time, but also symbols of progress by the workshop team that empower artists in residency to push beyond the boundaries to discover new possibilities.
Lee Bul: Prints Curated by Xiaoyu Weng opens on the 4th November until the 23rd December 2023 at STPI Gallery
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