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Enthusiasm : a waking mountain

2023. 3. 7 – 4. 13
Lee Choun Hwan

The mood of the mountain #1582_2023_Mixed media on canvas_80.3 x 116.8 cm

“Enthusiasm: A Waking Mountain” is a celebration of the latest additions to artist Lee Choun Hwan’s The Mood of the Mountain series. This expansive series, spanning from ink paintings to acrylic paintings on canvas, is a testament to Lee’s unwavering artistic journey of the past two decades. Starting from his first solo exhibition in 1988, Lee has shared his discipline, aspirations, and direction as an artist through the series.

The mood of the mountain #1392_2022_Mixed media on canvas_112.1 x 162.2 cm

The latest installment of The Mood of the Mountain continues to reflect Lee’s core aesthetic vision, which has been shaped and refined over the past four decades through dedicated and methodical artistic practice. This magnum opus reflects the artist’s passion and inquisitive spirit and provides a deeper insight into his journey towards pure abstraction.

The mood of the mountain #1583_2023_Mixed media on canvas_80.3 x 116.8 cm

Lee expresses the vigor of the mountains in his paintings through the use of acrylic paint, a choice distinct from his earlier works in which he employed traditional ink. The series of Lee’s paintings embodies the essence of nature through its subtle, muted color scheme and its formal representation of the mountain’s energy as a plane.

The mood of the mountain #1585_2022_Mixed media on canvas_80.3 x 116.8 cm

The latest works on display showcase Lee’s focused exploration of form and color, exuding a vibrant energy. The interplay of basic formative elements creates a delicate balance, lending a sense of tension amidst refinement and precise lines and planes. The artist’s use of color is a noteworthy feature, with Lee mainly utilizing primary colors but giving a harmonious and subtle variation within the same color families, such as bright red, deep red, and crimson. Lee invites the viewer to experience the beauty of nature through his unique formative language, as depicted in his representation of the majestic mountain range and the pink, sunshine-filled sky.

The mood of the mountain #1587_2022_Mixed media on canvas_80.3 x 116.8 cm

Lee captures the essence of nature through abstraction by transforming everyday elements into a pictorial language, which is demonstrated through his ongoing experimentation with materials and techniques. The works on display feature several characteristics unique to Lee, such as conveying the energy of mountains with a single brushstroke, presenting the bold, large-scale depiction of a bird’s-eye view of the mountains, or using Korean paper–that he creates himself–in a distinctive way to accentuate its unique surface texture. They collectively and ultimately allude to the direction in which Lee’s visual language may evolve.

The mood of the mountain #1595_2023_Mixed media with Korean paper on canvas_112.1 x 162.2 cm

“Enthusiasm: A Waking Mountain” offers a glimpse into Lee’s present and future direction with The Mood of the Mountain series, which showcases the immense power of nature. As Lee undergoes a transition in his artistic style, the series has developed to include subtle variations in shape and color. This exhibition will become an opportunity to observe the evolution of this series and the potential for Lee’s artistry to reach new heights.

We hope “Enthusiasm: A Waking Mountain” provides a glimpse into Lee Choun Hwan’s work in the context of the 2023 art world and offers a guiding light for following the trajectory of his ever-evolving artistic choices and practice.

12, Bongeunsa-ro 47-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea

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