Fantasy subverted in the distorted work of Noori Lee

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Fantasy subverted in the distorted work of Noori Lee


“House 13”

The idea behind the latest work of Noori Lee is poignantly captured in the basement of the PKM Gallery.
For his second solo exhibition in Korea, the 31-year-old artist has airbrushed black paint on the gallery’s walls.
Lee, who studied art in Switzerland, has stained a series of dark smudges on the white walls of the gallery, as if to distort the institutional barriers of art.
There is just one irony: The marks of the airbrushed paint, which form rings and twirls between the framed drawings on the wall, have been arranged to look aesthetically pleasing instead of just chaotic.
In his paintings for “Indication,” Lee’s first show in Korea in three years, the artist takes photographs of home interiors and houses designed by architects that have been published in popular lifestyle magazines like Wallpaper and paints them on aluminum plates.
The central motif of his works comes into play once he’s finished this process. He copies the stylish designs of the houses and then distorts the images with paint from his palette.
His aim, the artist explains, is to question the concept of the ideal home and lifestyle in contemporary society.
Lee finds that these fantasies about lifestyle increasingly seek to imitate art.
His work also contains a great deal of psychological tension, examining the conflict between desire and anxiety.
One example from his latest show is “House 9.”
This is a sharp rendering of a geometric home painted bright red. The image directly contrasts with the paint splatter and free brushstrokes in the background.
Yet Lee’s method for distorting his images are highly controlled.
They don’t rely on accident or coincidence as in the action painting of Jackson Pollock.


“Room 1,” two works by Noori Lee showing at PKM Gallery. Provided by the organizer

Contrary to the artist’s efforts to subvert the notion of idealized designs in modern living and create an image beyond a controlled environment, the splatter covering his panels is carefully modified into specific shapes and positions.
These images place the audience in an ambivalent position about preconceived concepts about lifestyle.

Noori Lee’s exhibition “Indication” runs at PKM Gallery in Jongno through April 30th.
For more information, call (02) 734-9467.

By Park Soo-mee Staff Reporter []
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