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Khan Lee, cups

Khan Lee, cups (2015), paper, coffee stain [Republic Gallery, Vancouver BC, Sep 9-Oct 22]

Khan Lee: “hyung-nae-ne-gi”

Republic Gallery
Vancouver, BC – Sept 9-Oct 22, 2016

Khan Lee, cups

Khan Lee, cups (2015), paper, coffee stain [Republic Gallery, Vancouver BC, Sep 9-Oct 22]

One of the more intriguing artists at work in Vancouver today is Khan Lee. Born in Seoul, Korea in the mid-1970s, Lee moved to Canada at 22 and enrolled at Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design, where he majored in sculpture. In the late 1990s he joined with Marianne Bos, Derek Brunen and Brady Marks to form Intermission, a participatory artist collective that specialized in helping other artists realize projects they were incapable of making on their own.

Now 15 years removed from Intermission, Lee has authored an impressive body of work (both as a solo artist and as a member of another collective, Instant Coffee) that speaks to his interest in spatial relationships and the particularities of time and place. As he told The Georgia Straight art critic Robin Laurence in September 2013: “I like to see the point where individual elements turn into a mass to create a new meaning.”

Lee’s current exhibition is based on a Korean word (“hyung-nae-ne-gi”) for which there is no direct translation. But rather than attempt one, Lee has eschewed whatever English words are available to him for a series of mixed-media sculptures. Whether these sculptures come together to articulate an approximation of this word, or “create a new meaning,” is for the viewer to consider.

Michael Turner


 Sat, Sep 10, 2016