• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2605

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 411

    LEE DONG WOOK

    Price Realised  

    LEE DONG WOOK
    (Born in 1976)
    Handle
    mixed media
    103 x 7 x 5 cm. (40 1/2 x 2 3/4 x 1 3/4 in.)
    Executed in 2007


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    The striking sculpture of Lee Dong Wook, perceivable in variable angles, omit a twisted erotic hostility with his contemporary compliance in provoking a confrontation of sexual violence that is conventionally shun away from discussion. His dedication in minute production is synchronized with accurate impulsiveness, constructing a figurative realism to tackle taboo subjects with cruelly humorous figures, in which he utilizes as a tool to reveal the fragility of the human psyche; where society is easily susceptible to deformation, according to their neighboring environment.

    Microscopic figurines are meshed in seemingly glutinous adhesive, spurring a repulsive tactility of Handle (Lot 411). The clumps of living organism are thorough in detail with Lee describing all minute expressions of individuals, revealing a sense of forced absorption. Barbaric in appeal, the brutality of Lee's oeuvre is a crucial one, as his severely meticulous execution on miniscule organisms displays his zealous concentration; in return, insinuating his clear awareness of the sadistic portrayal of his subjects, reconfirming his premeditation in sculpting his extroverted concept. His ability to summon a grotesque naked individual further increases the sense of brutality with its pale gooey skin exposed as an open space for vulnerability and wound.

    The pinnacle of this sculpture is clearly the tasteful paradox between the polished sharpness on the knife in opposition to the abusively pliable grip of the handle. Both surfaces trigger an uncomfortable reluctance from the viewer as he skillfully expands the depth of flexibility in production by altering a readymade knife to appear as his own in harmonized balance with his organism; concurrently, exhibiting his intuitive awareness of the psyche of beings by crafting a mischievous oeuvre that repel the viewer's facial expression, that of similar to his mutated individual figurines. With this realization, the audience finds themselves surprisingly naked and susceptible to their surrounding environment, where the deformed individuals become less threatening and more endearing and where the blade appear brutally dangerous.