Seunghyun Lee

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Seunghyun Lee

Korea, Republic of

Lee Seunghyun was born in Samcheonpo, South Korea in 1976 and lives and works in Seoul. Lee’s intricate paintings are snapshots of his everyday life where he elevates the ordinary into something that is extraordinary. Lee found tranquility and comfort in his daily life, and he sought to capture the beauty of the moments that arise throughout. The canvases are his offerings to the viewers, to provide respite from the hectic modern day chaos. 

With meticulous attention to detail, Lee utilizes light to realistically portray the scenes from daily life with delicacy. His experimentation with light is neither an appreciation for its dramatic effect nor a juxtaposition between light and shadow; it is a discovery of the natural hues. After graduating from art school in Korea, Lee moves to Russia to further his study of realism. Exposed to the extremes of polar nights to white nights, Lee was able to closely observe the entire spectrum of natural light and its interaction with various objects. His oeuvre is an investigation of navigating the light of the real world onto the canvas, combining precise depiction of the colors with soft and loose brushstrokes. His works are a display of his thoughtful approach on natural realistic depiction of scenes from his daily life with light as a protagonist. 

The light in his paintings is a culmination of the assortment of colors in varying textures and densities. Multiple layers of paint stacked above one another reveal a diverse array of colors depending on the angle. A photograph can capture the scene but is one-dimensional. In comparison, his single painting offers the viewer a unique visual experience in which the viewers experience a wide range of perspectives shifting with their line of sight. This mechanism resembles how people view the world and is a representation of the multitudinous and everchanging characteristics of natural light. The light that Lee illustrates is not a capture of the instantaneous moment but one that demonstrates the warmth of an era. That warmth is baked into the canvas and what would have been ephemeral moments stay with us in different shape and form.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 16th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.