Lee Jin Woo — Mur, Wall



Lee Jin Woo
Mur, Wall

Past: May 5 → June 23, 2012

In the first instance, figures fill the surface; one silhouette after another begins to exist in an empty light space; bit by bit it gets crowded. Later on, a veil appears, wrapping up the crowd and the black sets in: darkness becomes denser, deeper, the outlines of the figures merges into one another and finally integrates the body of black matter. The crowd disappears into a wall. We can only see the wall where the light settles, gleaming or absorbed by the relief cavities. The noise of the silent crowd gives way to the obstacle that reveals nothing of what is hidden behind. The matter imposes a stop that seen from a close hold seems insurmountable. It’s the great calm….


Confronted with the wall erected in front of him Lee Jin Woo has chosen to grow grass. During the winter he has sown seeds on a huge taught canvas, on layers of Hanji paper and lawns — both small and big — grew in his workshop. He continued watering whilst taking on painting and constructing with charcoal on the surfaces: The cultivated nature and the artistic process have met. Artworks were created in a fusion between material, gesture and time. The wall motif systematically comes back in Lee Jin Woo’s new body of works: be it in the shape of a solitary, rectangular construction situated in a larger expanse or, in its massive version entirely covering the pictorial surface apart from the upper third. In some works a staircase takes off from the top of the construction ending its stretch in the void. The role given to matter, the apparent simplicity of the compositions and the sophisticated exploitation of fullness and emptiness, defy perception: the eye is continuously moving between surface and depth passing from one point of view to another. The idea of abstraction replaces that of representation, the shapes seem to move on along a perspective line that creates itself only to vanish into the surface. Be they concrete art, symbolism, figuration or abstraction these works simultaneously work several registers where image, shape and matter are indivisible. The sky could be the sea and the wall an ocean at night. Only the grass with its roots well anchored on the other side is definitely grass. Its green lightfilled colour will fade one day and its live growth will in turn join the great calm. Lee Jin Woo’s present desire is that his contemplative world can lead to experiencing the temporality of grass growing, almost conferring to the silence of the on-going process an auditory quality.


Painting, relief or rather painting-relief, these three dimensional pictures are born from an invisible and titanic labour where numerous layers of traditional Korean Hanji paper1 have been superimposed to form strata on which Lee Jin Woo intervenes by painting and burying substances (charcoal, earth, pigments) and by brushing. A bark with a more or less pronounced relief is formed allowing the artist to work on its surface or to explore and unveil elements buried in the mass of translucent sheets.

Since 1986 Lee Jin Woo (born 1959) exhibits regularly in Korea and France. In 2006, Galerie Manes in Prague welcomed a very important show of his work. Wall — Mur will be his third solo show at the GALERIE MARIA LUND following exhibitions in 2007 and 2009. The gallery has also presented his works at the KIAF fair in Seoul (2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011). In 2008, Lee Jin Woo participated in the Holland Paper Biennal at the Rijswijk Museum, Holland.

In a text published for the exhibition, the art historian Selina Ting investigates the hybrid dimension in the work of Lee Jin Woo.

1 Hanji paper is made from mulberry fiber.

  • Opening Saturday, May 5, 2012 5 PM → 8 PM

    The artist will be present

  • Lee Jin Woo — Mur — Wall Exhibition Sunday, May 6, 2012 11 AM → 6 PM

    Exceptionally the gallery will be open Sunday 6th May for the “Sainte Prudence”, in collaboration with the galleries Eric Mircher, Anne Barrault, Marie Cini, Alberta Pane, Polaris and Jeanroch Dard.

Maria Lund Gallery Gallery
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48, rue de Turenne

75003 Paris

T. 01 42 76 00 33 — F. 01 42 76 00 10


Chemin Vert

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, noon – 7 PM
Other times by appointment Spring 2020 : By appointment only

The artist