Born in South Korea and a student of philosophy in Japan, Lee Ufan was a famous proponent of the Japanese avante-garde movement of the 1960's Mono-ha (School of things). Exhibiting his painting and sculpture internationally, Lee has been based in Japan since 1956.
Lee's series, From Line, begun in 1971, is among the strongest body of works in his oeuvre. He draws the brush down through the pigment suspended in viscous glue until the color fades away, creating a cascading effect of repeating lines that animate the canvas. In the words of the artist "as a pictoral enactment of the idea of infintity" radiating over the void of the picture plane and out into the space of the viewer. Ufan sees each brushstroke, each element, as gradually becoming liberated from himself, fully exhaling space. The artist refers to this as yohaku or the art of emptiness. Each brushstroke is independent and yet mutually related, creating a picture full of force, profoundly meditative and spiritual.