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Artist: Byungsu Lee

Curator: Melanie Pocock (UK)

Based on his research for places, Byungsu Lee has explored "a place that is real but not real" and "an issue with situations or deficiencies that are real but cannot be identified.” He has been showing interest in places and working them in a fictional way. Recently His artworks have expanded to the visual culture produced by the media and the systems that represent them, and have been expressed as digital simulation works using computers. He has participated in six solo exhibitions and various domestic and international exhibitions. He participated in the residency program of the Seoul Art Space Geumcheon(2010-11), the Cheongju Art Studio(2012), the Gyeonggi Creation Center(2019), and the Incheon Art Platform.(2020)

website_ www.leebyungsu.com

Melanie Pocock is the Curator of Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, UK, where she is responsible for exhibitions, commissions, and publications. Prior to joining Ikon, Pocock was Assistant Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2014 – 19), where she organised more than sixty exhibitions with local and international artists. Her essays and reviews have been published ArtAsiaPacific, Art Monthly, Frieze, Kaleidoscope, LEAP, Ocula, The Financial Times, divan | Journal of Accounts, Journal of Curatorial Studies and Third Text. In 2014, she edited the first monograph on the work of Malaysian artist Shooshie Sulaiman, published by Kerber Verlag. Pocock is a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) and holds an MA (Distinction) in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art.

6 March 2021

 

Dear Byungsu Lee,

Thank you for your suitcase. I have to admit that I was scared to open it. The heavy, black case looked more like something that would transport a dangerous weapon than an artwork!

Upon opening it, I was pleasantly surprised to see a VR headset accompanied by a set of neatly printed instructions.

I should confess that before receiving your suitcase I had never worn a VR headset. Neither had I used one to view art.

What a revelation! Putting on the headset really shifts your mindset and sense of space. Blind to the outside world and, in this sense, quite vulnerable, I was happy to be wearing it in the comfort of my own home. (as opposed to a public space or, indeed, an art gallery)

I love the self-critical nature of your films. They not only make viewers aware of the mechanisms behind VR and film technology (and their concomitant illusions), but viewers’ own viewing habits. Triggered by their cryptic scenarios and infinite landscapes, I found myself looking up and down much more than I usually would.

I think a good analogy for your films and the experience of viewing them is like being in a box that’s in a box that’s in a box that’s in a box ... They’re very “meta”.

During our Zoom, I was surprised to learn that this was the first time you had adapted your films to a VR format. My sense is that they were made for this medium.

All my best from Birmingham,

Melanie Pocock

Curator, Ikon Gallery