Approaching to shapes of natural objects with repetitive accumulation of objects. There's no need for it to be a tree necessarily but pine trees are the face of our forests which put down roots in every mountain and stream of this country. My concept aims at their strong and full vitality. It can be said that the shape of trees as natural objects is expansion of nature-friendly vision and  indulgence into the Oriental misen-en-scene. I wanted to take a major step forward toward direction to express dynamic vitality of organisms here.

 Pictorial plasticity. The working process of connecting copper pipe media appeared like the breath of brush touch in Oriental painting. Especially trees which show full and strong vitality even in barren land was seen as the most fundamental shape and natural objects based on symbolic recognition of molding. Matiere that copper pipe and tree skin are duplicated. The meeting of exquisite shapes is a expression of transforming into physical properties like...

 

Lee Gil-Rae’s awareness of expressions of the nature of the earth, dirt and nature naturally results in his usage of natural materials. The artist employs everything from traditional materials such as wood, iron and stone to natural materials such as clam shells, oyster shells, marsh snail shells, and fragments of pottery.…The artist constructs the overall form through the repetitive process of fixing these natural materials on sculptural materials like fiberglass reinforced plastics (FRP). Those forms are mostly minimalist geometric shapes such as round shapes, modified tetragon shapes or vertical pillars.…There occurs an irony that all these geometric and abstract forms are structured by organic materials collected from nature. In other words, the abstract forms and organic materials, which wouldn’t match on the external appearances, assimilate with each other and produce reverberation, energy and vitality from the inside. In this way, the relationship between the forms and the mate...

 

Cohesion

When I dropped in the studio of Lee Gil-Rae of Goesan in the Chungbuk province in sprinkling spring rain, there were a number of trees standing in the yard a bit disorderly in the rain. Part of them were so terribly warped and entangled each other that they looked like a transformed and distorted shape of grappling wrestlers or like the fresh of fowls of which hair were pulled away. Most of the remaining, however, could be called as trees since the trees reached their branches toward the sky though branches were very tortuous and rather small. Small wood consisting of his works is opposed to real trees planted in the yard and seemed to produce subtle harmony and contrast. The 'enchanted wood' in a word is the landscape produced by the trees, of which stems are overly bloated compared to short branches, placing itself upside down with waist cut off, making a circle regressing toward the earth, uterus for trees, rather than vertical growth. Exaggeratingly speaking, it looked lik...

 

Sculptor LEE Gil Rae’s studio is located in the quiet countryside of Goesan-gun, in the Chungcheongbuk province. The only thing you’ll find in this silent and cozy town are dried trees and grass, due to its hot weather. The artist’s own “trees” also stand firm in his yard. Those “trees” are made up of metal that has been cut up and welded together. Some of his sculptures are just reproductions of pine trees, but others are in bizarre shapes that almost seem to have taken on the form of both tree and of human being. One might call it a “Tree Man.” Perhaps he ultimately perceives both trees and human beings as the same. Externally, they are different, but essentially they are all the same, living beings within nature. Furthermore, the fundamental structure of every form of life is the same. I believe this is why sculptor LEE works with identically structured small copper pieces and fuses them together to craft pine trees in such odd and dynamic forms. The semi-circled or short straight-...

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Conceptual note and Review /

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