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Redefining the Undefined

Aug 8 - Sep 15, 2019

Keunmin Lee

Dialogue, 2019

Oil on canvas

8.3 x 11.7in (21 x 29.7 cm.)

SHIN GALLERY is pleased to present a solo exhibition of paintings by Korean artist, Keunmin Lee. Conceptually related to earlier works with regards to depictions of his mental health, Keunmin Lee invites audiences into the most private realm of his thoughts. The viewer- an interloper of Lee’s hallucinations- witnesses a reality that forces them to think outside of their own. Through weaving in personal experiences from the depths of his mind, Lee’s art serves as an archive for the most honest expressions of his mental trauma. The gallery will have an opening reception on Thursday, August 8 from 6-8 pm.

Since the beginning of his artistic career and mental health diagnosis, Lee has recorded his
encounters with hallucinatory figures. Although he has now gained respite from these experiences; the poignancy of his visions were so captivating that Lee felt motivated to continue reproducing the images he witnessed. Through the painting’s visual exploration, Lee provides an accessible route for viewers to follow; the crux of an experience that neuro-typically can neither be seen or understood.

Lee’s works flow from mind to canvas without plan or design prior to the piece’s creation. The young artist’s paintings exude emotional intensity in both the concept and the aesthetic. In the exhibition, Lee chooses to work on a monumental scale, engulfing the viewer into his introspective contemplations.

The painterly execution creates a fluidity that emphasizes the brevity of the palette; its gestural nature mirrors the artist’s movements showing the unification of both mind and body. With emphasis on spontaneity and sensuality Lee’s work is evocative of Mannerist and Baroque painters, such as Jacopo Comin Tintoretto and Peter Paul Rubens. Through the use of confident and intuitive brushstrokes, Lee reveals similarities between his creations and the masters before him.

Inversely to his earlier works of darker color palettes, the exhibition highlights lighter tones of yellow and pink that give a luminescent effect. The figurative-like forms that had occupied Lee’s earlier works are no longer dominant here; instead, the swiftly rendered brushstrokes add presence to the paintings. Still, the artist continues his infatuation with bodily forms that are comparable to flesh and skin in his new visceral series.

Keunmin Lee (b. 1982) is based in Seoul, Korea and received his B.F.A. from Seoul National University in 2007. Lee has exhibited in solo shows including, Do I Wake or Do I Sleep, Shin Gallery, New York, 2016; The Portrait of Hallucination, Gallery Dam, Seoul, Korea, 2013; The Young Korean Artist, Hyun Gallery, Seoul, Korea, 2010; Random Tetris, EVE Gallery, Seoul, Korea, 2010; Selected Drawings, Salon de Factory, Seoul, Korea, 2009. Lee’s group exhibitions include, Secretly, Greatly, Eul Gallery, Daegu, S. Korea, 201; Omakase, Shin Gallery, New York, U.S.A, 2018; Contemporary Figurative Painting, Cian Art Museum, Daegu, S. Korea, 2017; Ugly as Art, Seoul National University Museum of Art, Seoul, S. Korea, 2017; All the Windows to the World, Blume Museum of Contemporary Art, Paju, S. Korea, 2015. Lee is in the Colección Solo, Madrid, Spain.


For all press inquiries, contact: Stavroula Coulianidis: stavroulacoul@shin-gallery.com