Lee Bul, ‘Untitled (Mekamelencolia - Velvet #3 DDRG29AC)’, 2017, Lehmann Maupin

Image rights: Courtesy Studio Lee Bul and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

About Lee Bul

Crafted from materials including metal, silicone, resin, chains, crystal beads, and organic matter, Lee Bul’s cyborgs, monsters, and glittering architectural structures may seem futuristic but are influenced by specters of the historical avant-garde, like 18th-century Italian artist Piranesi’s labyrinths; the Futurist dreams of Italian architect Antonio Sant’Elia; and Weimar architect Bruno Taut’s fantastic crystalline cities suspended in mid-air. Though Lee was academically trained in sculpture, her early works were often interactive, inviting viewers to create private performances in sleek karaoke pods or to pump air into monumental balloons mimicking manga and anime heroines. Lee’s diverse body of recent work—including installations of sculptures, drawings, and maquettes—continues to cross genres and disciplines, exploring themes of beauty, corruption, and decay.

Korean, b. 1964, Seoul, South Korea