LEE Kangwook


LEE Kangwook(b. 1976) has dealt with the issue of painting based on his exploration of space, from a tiny micro world as cell to a huge macroscopic world like space. The micro and macro worlds portrayed on one painting, creating a virtual world where two incompatibles worlds overlaps. Paradoxically, his work reveals a close resemblance between the two opposing and conflicting spaces, which artist’s interest of the ancient Hindu Philosophical text “Upanishads.” His effort to visually and aesthetically express the theory that “all the confrontational elements in the world are ultimately one.”


The two world’s portrayed randomly place with the basic elements of painting in colors, shapes, and composition, creating subtle changes and revealing points that harmonize with each other. The artist’s work coexist with detailed works which needs numerous time and effort and using whole body movements to create images. This based on the artist purpose to challenge the basic question of what painting is and to emphasize “Gesture”, a fundamental element of painting, The artist’s will, persistently visualize an Invisible world, read as a gesture against the mortal nature of human body. LEE Kangwook’s painting have led viewers’ eyes to turn something wider or more fundamental through this process.


LEE Kangwook has participated solo exhibition at Arario gallery I Cheonan (Cheonan, Korea) in 2017, Arario gallery I Seoul (Seoul, Korea) in 2016, Tokyo gallery (Tokyo, Japean) in 2014, Arton gallery (Singapore) in 2013, Asia House (London, UK), Hada Contemporary (London, UK) in 2012. In addition, he has participated group exhibition such as Salihara gallery (Jakarta, Indonesia) in 2020, Arario gallery Seoul I RYSE Hotel (Seoul, Korea) in 2018, Arco Museum – Space Feelux (Seoul, Korea) in 2017, Albert Benda gallery (NY, US) in 2016, AVA gallery (London, UK) in 2014, Chelsea future space (London, UK) in 2013. Between 2011- 2012, he participated in group exhibition known as “Korean Collective Milan”, a tour of Galerie Boordeinde Noordeinde (Hague, Netherland), Leonhard Ruthmuller | Contemporary art (Basel, Switzerland), Barbara Frigerio Contemporary Art (Milan, Italy). LEE Kangwook was a residency artist of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in 2004, and won the 3rd Songeun Art Grand Prize (Jiwon Prize) in 2003, the 224th JoongAng Fine Art Prize in 2002, the 25th Dong-A Art Festival (Dong-A Art Prize) in 2002, and the 15th Korea Painting Grand Prize (Grand Prize) in 2001. Major collections include Arario Museum (Korea), Hoam Museum of Art (Korea), Seoul Museum of Art (Korea), and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Korea).