Densely Heaving Lines Meet at Mountainous Junctures in Lee Hyun Joung’s Paintings


#Lee Hyun Joung

March 25, 2024

Grace Ebert

“Contemplation” (2024), 195 x 130 x 3.5 centimeters. All photos by Nick Verhaeghe, courtesy of Galerie Sept, shared with permission

In Ridge Lines, Lee Hyun Joung navigates along the roving meeting point of two adjoining bodies. The artist melds the artistic and aesthetic traditions of her native Korea with those of her adopted home in Paris, rendering intricately bisected landscapes where the two converge.

Opening next month at Galerie Sept in Brussels, Lee’s solo exhibition comprises several new paintings made with handmade Hanji paper and ink from Korean pigments and fish glue. The artist often works on the floor, drawing each thin, sweeping line in a sort of meditative trance. “Instead of flattening the paper, I let the random embossed pattern show through. I use my brush to create line patterns to emphasize or obstruct the paper’s natural relief. Through the movements of my body, I create a rhythm, without a structured plan,” she told critic Isabelle de Maison Rouge in advance of the show.

Lee’s works capture this repetitive motion as they heave toward the central crest. Her paintings have grown in complexity in recent years, expanding on the mountain-like landscapes to puncture terrains with deep, hidden valleys. The vertical “Chemins de Vie” works, for example,  follow a winding path that loops and turns back on itself to create pockets along the ridge. Likening each line to “a day in the life of a human,” the artist grasps at the connection between time and space where seemingly disparate experiences join together.

Ridge Lines runs from April 4 to May 19. Find more from Lee from Galerie Sept.


a dense line drawing in blue and white that appears like crashing waves

“Collision” (2024), 100 x 130 x 3.5 centimeters

a dense line drawing in green and white that meet at a central ridge

“Contemplation Vert” (2024), 147 x 80 x 3.5 centimeters

a dense line drawing in blue and white that meet at a central ridge

“Chemin Bleu” (2024), 130 x 100 x 3.5 centimeters

two dense line drawings in blue and white that meet at a central ridge

Left: “Chemins de Vie 2” (2024), 150 x 50 x 3.5 centimeters. Right: “Chemins de Vie 1” (2024), 150 x 50 x 3.5 centimeters

two works against a white wall in the artist's studio

The artist’s studio

a patchwork of blue and black ink line drawings

“Mémoire du Vent Bojagi” (2024), 195 x 130 x 3.5 centimeters

the artist is sitting on the wood floor drawing on paper with books and canvases surrounding her

The artist working in her studio

#Lee Hyun Joung


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