The Lee Bul exhibition at the Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Saint-Étienne Métropole presents the prolific and protean work of one of the most important figures on the contemporary artistic scene in Korea. In the central hall, visitors will be able to move about inside four or five labyrinthine monumental installations produced by the artist for Saint-Étienne. A number of graphic works created over the last twenty years will be on display nearby, along with a set of preparatory models for her installations. This is the artist's first monographic museum show since the presentation of her On every new Shadow installation at the Fondation Cartier in Paris in 2007.
For 30 years Lee Bul has been telling a story in which she has established surprising relationships between the diverse forms of visual art and the different areas of imagination. She examines the relevance of the great mythological and scientific stories that give us the illusion that man is capable of completely recreating biological reality, and thereby also social reality. In her work she mixes the constant creation of myths, utopias and the various prospects for the development of a completely new form of existence with the representation of her personal world, her doubts and solitude, but also the hopes and joy of the artist. She offers a revised vision of our relationship with nature and the human and animal body, by introducing into it scientific representations, elements from science fiction and utopias. Her imaginary creations, sham versions of the modern world, include aliens, messengers from an unknown, foreign and anguish-inducing universe interacting with our post-modern reality. This combination offers an unexpected poetry in which the solitude of the artist and the sadness of the pseudorealities are mingled with a hedonism and a euphoria born out of discovery and free-ranging imagination. This poetic utopianism links together design, architecture and sculpture in a sensitive form and generates a sensual crop of hitherto unseen figures.