Bae LEE
THE SUBLIME CHARCOAL LIGHT
solo show
July 03
- August 18, 2020
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Tokyo
Piramide Building, 1F, 6-6-9 Roppongi, Minato-ku

Tokyo Japon







Perrotin Tokyo is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Korean artist Lee Bae. Known as the artist of charcoal, he has been exploring various facets and properties of the material for thirty years. With his experimental monochromatic works, he is referred to as one of the most prominent figures of the post-Dansaekhwa movement.


ペロタン東京はこのたび、韓国人アーティスト、リー・ベー(李英培)の個展を開催いたします。 “炭のアーティスト”として知られ、30年にわたり炭が持つ多様な側面や性質を探求してきました。そのモノクロマチックな実験的作品により、リーは“ポスト単色画”アーティストとして 最も著名なアーティストの一人と称されています。


LEE Bae
Brushstroke, 2020
Unframed : 102 × 66 cm | 40 3/16 × 26 inch
Framed : 118 × 82 cm | 46 7/16 × 32 5/16 inch
Charcoal ink on paper
LEE Bae
Brushstroke, 2020
Unframed : 102 × 66 cm | 40 3/16 × 26 inch
Framed : 118 × 82 cm | 46 7/16 × 32 5/16 inch
Charcoal ink on paper
LEE Bae
Brushstroke, 2020
Unframed : 42 × 29.5 cm | 16 9/16 × 11 5/8 inch
Framed : 57.5 × 45 cm | 22 5/8 × 17 11/16 inch
Watercolour on paper

Charcoal was a fragment of memory that reminded Lee of the ‘Burning of the Moon House’, a folk ritual in his hometown Cheongdo. On the night of the first full moon in the lunar calendar, a Moon House is built and set on fire, hoping that the folk villagers’ wishes will reach the skies alongside the smokes.


炭はリーの故郷・チョンド(清道)の民俗儀礼「タルチッテウギ」(※どんど焼きに似た火祭り)を思い出させ、彼の古い記憶を呼び覚ましました。タルチッテウギでは旧暦上最初の満月の夜、“月の家”がこしらえられ、人々の願いが煙に乗って空へと届くよう、火がつけられます。

Lee Bae (courtesy of the artist and Musée Guimet)
LEE Bae
Landscape, 2003
89 × 116 cm | 35 1/16 × 45 11/16 inch
Charcoal on canvas

In Landscape, we notice that the hard and heavy motif collapses as it collides with the void. As heaviness and lightness, presence and absence, representation and the un-representable, pleasure and pain confront each other, the sublimity flares like sparks of fire.


モチーフと余白が接する縁を考察すると、その硬く重いモチーフが余白に衝突すると同時に崩壊していくことに気づきます。軽さと重さ、存在と不在、表現と表現不可、“月の家”と月光、快楽と苦痛がそれぞれ対峙するとき、崇高さは火花のようにめらめらと燃え上がります。炭は火によって生み出され、一方でいつまでも火を起こし続け、また火(光、空虚)に回帰するのです。


LEE Bae
Issu du feu ch-190, 2003
65 × 50 cm | 25 9/16 × 19 11/16 inch
Charcoal on canvas

In Issu du feu, each piece of charcoal reflects light differently, like the stained glass in a gothic cathedral. Lee tightly places pieces of charcoal on canvas, binds them, and polishes the surface to enable the black matter to reflect light.


《Issu du feu》では、炭の欠片ひとつひとつが、まるでゴシック様式の大聖教のステンドグラスのように異なる光を反射します。リーはキャンバス上に炭の欠片を密着、結束させ、表面を磨き上げることで、この漆黒の物質が光を反射するようにしています。

LEE Bae
Untitled, 2018
175 × 140 cm | 68 7/8 × 55 1/8 inch
Acrylic medium and charcoal ink on canvas

Lee draws the motif using charcoal powder and medium mixture, dries it, then superposes it with another layer of the same motif on top of the first, which he repeats several layers.


リーは炭粉とメディウムを混ぜてモチーフ(円)を描き、乾燥後に同じモチーフの層を重ね、さらに同様の工程を数回繰り返します。


I’ve been working with charcoal for nearly 30 years and yet, I still think there is more I can do with it.



およそ30年程炭を使って作品を制作していますが、まだまだ探求できることがあると思っています。




— Lee Bae リー・ベー

Lee’s charcoal pieces were produced by Lee himself — burnt at 1,500 degree Celsius in kiln for two weeks nonstop, then dried for another two weeks. After drying, charcoals got chopped and soaked in pinewood oil in order to prevent dispersing before he started playing on the canvas.


炭は、リー自身が制作したもので、1500度の窯で2週間ノンストップで焼き、さらに2週間乾燥させます。乾燥後、キャンバスにのせる前に、飛散防止のため木炭を刻んで松脂に浸します。


The title, “the sublime charcoal light,” combines charcoal (the Moon House) and the empty space (the moonlight). In Lee’s works, these two elements constantly coexist and interact with each other: as charcoal and light in Issu du feu, and as charcoal and empty space in Landscape and Untitled.


本展タイトルである“the sublime charcoal light”(崇高な炭の光)とは、つまり、炭(“月の家”)と余白(月光)から成っています。リーの作品にはこれらの二要素(《Issu du feu》では炭と光、《Landscape》と《Untitled》では炭と余白)が常に共存し、相互作用しています。


Asian culture loves to master the mind and sets great importance by spirituality. It also leaves room for intuition. In the same way, I always try to combine different aspects: the mental and the sensorial, lucidity and intuition. You can do all that with black.



アジアの文化では、心を鍛え、スピリチュアルであることを重要視します。そこにはまた、直感も共存します。同じように、私は常に異なる側面を組み合わせるようにしています:精神と感覚、明晰さと直観。 それらすべてを黒で表現することができます。



— Lee Bae リー・ベー
LEE Bae

Born in 1956 in Cheongdo, South Korea
Lives and works between Paris, France and Seoul, South Korea

Born in Cheongdo, South Korea in 1956, Lee’s works have been the subject of solo exhibitions at museums and institutions worldwide, including Wilmotte Foundation, Venice, Italy; Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul de Vence, France; Paradise Art Space, Incheon, South Korea; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Vannes, France; and Musée Guimet, Paris, France. Lee’s works are included in public collections, notably the National Museum of Contemporary Art (MMCA), Gwacheon, South Korea; Seoul Museum of Art (SEMA), Seoul, South Korea; Leeum-Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea; Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul de Vence, France; Musée Guimet, Paris, France; Musée Cernuschi, Paris, France; Privada Allegro Foundation, Madrid, Spain; and Baruj Foundation, Barcelona, Spain.

More about the artist
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List of artworks
ROOM 1
LEE Bae
Issu du feu ch-189, 2003
65 × 50 cm | 25 9/16 × 19 11/16 inch
Charcoal on canvas
LEE Bae
Untitled, 2018
175 × 140 cm | 68 7/8 × 55 1/8 inch
Acrylic medium and charcoal ink on canvas
LEE Bae
Landscape, 2003
89 × 116 cm | 35 1/16 × 45 11/16 inch
Charcoal on canvas
ROOM 2
LEE Bae
Brushstroke, 2020
Unframed : 42 × 29.5 cm | 16 9/16 × 11 5/8 inch
Framed : 57.5 × 45 cm | 22 5/8 × 17 11/16 inch
Watercolour on paper
LEE Bae
Brushstroke, 2020
102 × 66 cm | 40 3/16 × 26 inch
118 × 82 cm | 46 7/16 × 32 5/16 inch
Charcoal ink on paper
LEE Bae
Brushstroke, 2020
Unframed : 102 × 66 cm | 40 3/16 × 26 inch
Framed : 118 × 82 cm | 46 7/16 × 32 5/16 inch
Charcoal ink on paper
LEE Bae
Brushstroke, 2020
42 × 29.5 cm | 16 9/16 × 11 5/8 inch
57.5 × 45 cm | 22 5/8 × 17 11/16 inch
Watercolour on paper
LEE Bae
Brushstroke, 2020
Unframed : 102 × 66 cm | 40 3/16 × 26 inch
Framed : 118 × 82 cm | 46 7/16 × 32 5/16 inch
Charcoal ink on paper
LEE Bae
Brushstroke, 2020
Unframed : 42 × 29.5 cm | 16 9/16 × 11 5/8 inch
Framed : 57.5 × 45 cm | 22 5/8 × 17 11/16 inch
Watercolour on paper
LEE Bae
Brushstroke, 2020
Unframed : 42 × 29.5 cm | 16 9/16 × 11 5/8 inch
Framed : 57.5 × 45 cm | 22 5/8 × 17 11/16 inch
Watercolour on paper
LEE Bae
Brushstroke, 2020
66 × 102 cm | 26 × 40 3/16 inch
82 × 118 cm | 32 5/16 × 46 7/16 inch
Charcoal ink on paper