Korean artist Lee Bul examines shared human consciousness in a variety of forms, creating tentacled sculptures, futuristic chandeliers, and other large-scale forms that refract the audience through tiny mirrored tiles. The installations and sculptures are at once inspired by the past as they draw from societal folklore and shared histories, and the future, as they consider technological advancements.
“For Lee Bul, humankind’s fascination with technology ultimately refers to our preoccupations with the human body and our desire to transcend flesh in pursuit of immortality,” explains the artist’s biography. “This interest often materializes in her work in the form of a cyborg—a being that is both organic and machine—the closest thing to a human that truly achieves this ideal.”
Bul views the cyborg as a metaphor for our current attraction and repulsion to advanced technology, her works a dual representation of its attractive and monster-like qualities. This year Lee Bul received the Ho-Am Prize for The Arts, which is awarded to people of Korean heritage who have made significant accomplishments to science, engineering, medicine, community service, the arts, or other specialized fields. Bul’s solo exhibition of recent painting and sculpture titled City of the Sun closed at SCAD Museum of Art on July 28, 2019. You can see more of her sculptures and installations on her gallery Lehmann Maupin’s website.