Lee Ufan

Lee Ufan is a Korean artist who founded the avant-garde group Mono-ha (School of Things), Japan’s first internationally acknowledged movement in contemporary art. He is best known for his Minimalist steel and stone sculptures that accentuate the juxtapositions between objects, as well as the relationship between manmade materials and the natural world. Lee’s simplified paintings are often composed of a single brushstroke. “The work is never complete, because there is no perfection or completeness,” the artist has said. Born on June 24, 1936 in Haman-gun, Korea, Lee studied at the School of Art at Seoul National University and later Nihon University in Tokyo, where he graduated with a degree in philosophy in 1961. Lee’s development of Mono-ha in the late 1960s was developed from Eastern philosophical teachings on being and nothingness as well as profound feelings towards nature. In 2010, the Lee Ufan Museum opened at the Benesse Art Site in Naoshima, Japan. Set on an idyllic hillside, the museum is comprised of Minimalist architectural and sculptural objects made by both Lee and the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Lee’s works are also held in the collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Seoul Museum of Arts, and the Tate Gallery in London, among others. The artist currently lives and works between Kamakura, Japan and Paris, France.