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Veteran Korean artist debuts work in Beijing

By Lin Qi | China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-24 08:40
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South Korean artist Lee Kun-yong stages a performance before his debut exhibition in China on July 14. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Lee Kun-yong, hailed as one of the foremost figures of performance art in South Korea, is known for fusing the act of painting with his own body movements, creating works that examine the interactions between the human body and its external space.

His performance is simple, yet engaging and thought-provoking, often overturning the audience's preconceptions that performance art is absurd and incomprehensible.

At a recent performance, the 76-year-old artist stood in front of a wall, facing a blank piece of paper side on. He swung a paint brush around his body to draw several curves on the paper. Then he stopped to pick different colors, turned his other side to the paper and repeated the previous steps. While still swinging the brush, he asked the audience, "How does it look? Am I doing good?"

The performance was staged to open Lee's debut exhibition in China on July 14. The eponymous show is being hosted at Pace Gallery in Beijing's 798 art district through Sept 1.

Lee tried to engage his audience by creating a relaxing, interesting atmosphere and he made his interactions with people a part of his creation. The artist is an honorary professor at Kunsan National University in South Korea's Gunsan city, where he now lives and works.

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