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goliaths series
Goliaths
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23579 days
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23579 days Painting

Haevan Lee

South Korea

Painting, Acrylic on Wood

Size: 21.9 W x 18.5 H x 1.8 D in

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About The Artwork

Kinetic scultural painting 23579 days 2018 Acrylic on panel, steel pendulum, magnet, plastic, battery 47 x 55.5 x 4.6 cm A lucid thump Cutting through a tranquil night, an island comes into existence. Night after night, as the ticking clock suggests the passing of the day, she bears another one to join the fray. A dark concrete bunker echoing with the silence of empty artillery decks is lit up once again, this time with exquisitely crafted images lining up the walls. A rather serene look at first sight, one soon senses anxiety creeping up behind the back. The ticking clock echoes and islands dance in discord, while the tanks kiss. The exhibition titled ‘Goliaths, Tanks’ by Haevan Lee is an amalgamation of her newest paintings and objects weaved together in her site-specific installations and multi-media projections, accompanied by performance pieces. The movement in each object resonating with the sound of ticking clocks serenely draws out the muted anxiety underlying the division of Korean peninsula following the war in the 1950’s. The ensemble takes place at the Peace Culture Bunker at the Northern end of Seoul, which was originally built in the late 1960’s as a barricade to cut off North Korean ground forces, recently transformed into an art space. The artist embodies the remnants and residues of the space into her entire exhibition, deliberately placing objects along the artillery halls looking out to grass yards where rusty old tanks sit as gravestones.-Paul Goliaths Text by Dan Kwon On a moonless night, the northernmost corner of the megalopolis rests under ballasted clouds, whose faint sienna glow is powered by distant city lights. Like her city, she does not sleep, living her dreams that are all but nightmares. Into the third hour of day she continues to wage her campaign. It is a creaturely campaign whose singular demand is not to be disturbed, for the continuous existence in quietude, a fantastical one only for hers to share. With a thunderous clap the ceiling rattles, as if a weighty, leaden object had struck the roof. The building, originally built to house tanks, shudders down to its foundation. She feels the palpitating heart in her ears. Clenching her jaws softly, she musters up a dab of nerve and steps outside. Leaves tremble, the chilled winds prick her cheeks. All quiet on this nightly front. She rises with the sun and climbs up to the rooftop, where two crows are hopping about, on the handrail, off the handrail, there and here, in harmony. Her hand reaches out. The sooty birds spread their wings and take off, perhaps to somewhere they can be left alone. It’s clear sky but the sky can’t be made out, as if the clouds have sunk to engulf us. The surrounding mountains have lost their texture; only their vague contours remain to loom. The air, impregnated with the byproducts of archaic industries that have since fled west, is made more conspicuous in its confluence with the dust from local woodwork, and can be seen in foggy gradients that stretch from the body into the distance. Felt to be more than a mouthful, the pollutants have become part of her; they rest on her lashes, in her nostrils, doing something inside her. She shakes, and beats them off. They rejoin her with the wind’s caress. New morning. Negative 18 degrees Celsius. The sky has returned in its azure glory, over which a magpie, its bill clutching a twig, glides, unrelenting even in the face of stabbing winds, in the direction of the iris garden. A nest to build, chicks to raise. She, too, holds a twig, a plumed twig, and paints a home. The puppy of a colleague gets delirious on a snow-carpeted day, as if it had never seen the world so white. Joining the dog, she, too, gets delirious. Later she watches the young dog, and thinks of her old one back home, painting its afflicted paws into her mind. Each night the mysterious quake becomes a recurring event. During these hours the sole guard on the premises sleeps. Only she is among the nocturnals. Will this building eventually collapse, and I be subjected to a sudden death, a war? Likely or otherwise, such scenarios breed the scenes that demand our attention, scenes that are without us, before us, after us; the scenes over the fence, forbidden to have us. Safe from us. Her eyes tremor about in the quietude known only to the few, and they illuminate this corner of the world. Tender is her vision, and there the reality of nature is dreamt and its scenes are traced. Every one of us is responsible for the silhouettes of these scenes, but not every one of us feels that way.

Details & Dimensions

Painting:Acrylic on Wood

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:21.9 W x 18.5 H x 1.8 D in

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Lives and works in The Hague, Netherlands and Seoul, Republic of Korea Haevan Lee is a contemporary artist who expresses the regional context of specific places through various forms including painting, installation, video. DMZ Landscape Series turns restricted or photography-prohibited areas into paintings. The artist has created painting-sculptures by superimposing the layers of landscapes that she experienced while staying at Peace Culture Bunker, an anti-tank defense shelter built after armed North Korean guerillas invaded Seoul, South Korea in January 1968, and presented the works in the exhibition Goliaths, Tanks (Seoul, 2018). She is planning and producing Dopa+Project, a collaborative project and currently contributes to various exhibitions including Pyeongchang Biennale (2017) and Bangkok Art Biennale (2020). Haevan Lee lives and works in Seoul, South Korea and The Hague, Netherlands.

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