Myungil Lee Biography

The South Korean artist Myungil Lee has been part of a variety of exhibitions, such as the Venice Biennial, Palazzo Bembo in Venice, Vienna Contemporary, Saatchi Gallery in London and the Art Central in Hong Kong.




The permanence of human existence cannot be separated from impermanence. So is the relation between existence and non-existence. The story of my life inspires my work as I strive to find values of human existence expressed through human desires found daily in routines and emotions. I find inspiration of my works in Buddhist’s Samsara, i.e. the eternal cycle of birth and death: all human beings are born, live and die; and exist living in symbiosis with others.

Human existence are not immutable but they continuously seek progress, betterment and empowerment. In order for human beings to exist, physical instincts and behaviors cannot be separated. Therefore, my works are the result of certain choices and actions of mine, as I seek to stay spiritually alert to see my inspiration reflected in my works. 

What is human existence? What is the form of emotions? How can we represent desire? What are the differences between what is seen and what is felt?

I make efforts to weave stories of symbiotic lives in my works, hoping that they would reflect human existence, how those existences endure, how basic instincts are expressed, how such essential elements coexis in harmony interact with each other. 

I try not to use figurative forms, so that abstractions can fuel viewers' curiosity and imagination. Sometimes I work with objects like stainless steel to express the symbiotic relationship of empty spaces and shapes reflecting the intricate connection of all elements in the world.

As for colors and forms, which are essentially conventional symbols, I try to avoid clichés and prejudices, while constantly trying to destroy my inner walls so as to overcome the boundaries of traditional art and the limits to perception.

Lives, emotions and values are different yesterday, today and tomorrow; this is the very reason of my existence and my work and the purpose of my life. I work and live to find a path to understand the identities of human beings, including myself.

- Myungil Lee