Emulating the practice of oriental calligraphy, Korean-born artist Lee Bae retains the essence of its aesthetics, but rearticulates it to a new mode of abstraction with its expressive style, experimentalism and organic unity (Lot 1111).
Incredibly poised in pictorial configuration, the refreshingly clear definition and coolness his black and white palette offers is one that instigates attention to spatial relationship, light and shadow and crisp contrast. Over-coated with translucent creamy acrylic medium, Lee softens the edges of the carbon black against the white, securing these binary colors in unity, fixating them on to his canvas, akin to the symbolic action of calligraphy in capturing the spirit of time.
Demonstrating order and harmony, Lee endeavors to meditate and nurture morality, dignity, discipline and serenity within him, remembering his past emotional hardship in Paris, where he started what was yet to become his signature medium; charcoal. Owing to financial confinement, Lee was encouraged to take on experimental initiatives, in replacement of paint mediums; he built a profound relationship with this material, a deeply subjective quality that reads the virtues of autonomy and a sense of nostalgia for Korea. He rediscovered his subconscious familiarity with charcoal that rooted from his childhood, when he grew up watching the traditions of hanging pieces of charcoal on doors to indicate a birth of a child and the efficient use of inserting charcoal when digging foundations to protect against humidity and insects. Immediately comprehending its culturally symbolic weight, Lee began to ponder on the essence of existence, emphasizing his own intervention by asserting that he is creating a link, a dialogue, between a natural material and a cultural venue.