Changwon Lee

Aando Fine art is pleased to have Korean born installation artist ChangWon Lee's first solo exhibition in Berlin from September 11th through October 23rd 2009.

After graduating from Seoul National University, ChangWon Lee studied at the Kunstakademie Münster under Professor Guillaume Bijl. Since then he has participated in numerous exhibitions internationally. In 2007, he was selected "new talent" at Art Cologne and in 2006 received the DAAD Prize for Foreign Students.

For his solo show at Aando Fine Art, ChangWon Lee investigates how images, especially portraits, become reinterpreted in the socio-political context by being distributed. His analysis of the diffusion, sometimes even inversion, of pictures and their meaning articulates itself through his media and techniques. His art confidently interfaces sculpture, photography, and painting. Activated through the movement of the spectator, light and reflection create optical transition effects, so that perception is constantly shifting between clarity and fuzziness, positive and negative, monumental ensembles and tiny particles.

Frequently, Lee uses natural ingredients commonly used in our daily lives, such as ground coffee, tea leaves, flower seeds, and by distributing them on thin horizontal slats of boards on the wall, structures a large image that appears like a tactile painting from distance. Highly poetic in appearance, these grain installations simultaneously have political issues hidden underneath. In his installation works, Lee uses mediums that are ephemeral, often possessing a scent that will disappear slowly over time. This is how we forget certain incidents that have left traces in our memories.

One of ChangWon Lee's recent works refers to the 'East Berlin Scandal' in 1967, a major political scandal that occurred under the dictatorship of the South Korean president and seriously endangered the relationship between Korea and Germany: Accused of being North Korean spies, Korean people living in Europe, especially in Berlin, were kidnapped and imprisoned by the Korean government, among them young artists and composers such as Lee Eung Ro and Yoon Yi Sang. By identifying the names and faces of the victimized individuals and presenting the portraits circulated by the media at the time, Lee examines how faces become read and classified. Using mirror formats that make images change with the position of viewpoint, Lee reflects that how you conceive certain images depends on where your stand. Lee also features his own portrait painted on a mirror and reflected on different surfaces in a documented photography format from his performance. These series reflect the artist's consistent investigation on how the image, furthermore portraits, furthermore that of even the 'Self' becomes understood based on different projections and contexts.
Similarly, Chang Won Lee explores the politics of images – especially those distributed via the Internet – in the context of recent issues of terrorism. Featuring the image of an innocent man unjustly classified and broadcast as a terrorist throughout the media, Lee questions the context and trustworthiness of pictures and denounces their abuse as tools of power.

It is especially poignant to feature ChangWon Lee at Aando Fine Art in Berlin, in the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Unlike Germany, Korea is still a divided nation, with divided memories. Lee tries to intertwine these divisions and inspire reflection about the present.

The exhibition opens on 11th of September and will run through October 23rd.
The artist will be present for the opening reception on 11th of September.


September 11  - October 23, 2009