Lee Ufan was born in 1936 in Kyongnam, South Korea. In 1961, he graduated in philosophy at Nihon University, Tokyo. He currently lives and works between Japan and France. Lee Ufan is recognised internationally as the main exponent of the Japanese art movement, Mono-ha, which at the end of the 1960s proposed an artistic practice dedicated to the exploration of natural and industral materials and their relationshp with their surrounding space. In the Mono-ha experiment, art moves away from a system of representation and fiction and enters into the life of the process. Lee Ufan makes sculptures almost exclusively out of stone and steel. From the 1960s, he began his series Relatum, which refers to the philosophical term that denotes things or events that are somehow related. For the series Dialogue, the artist placed canvases on the floor, marking the white surface with a stroke of oil paint mixed with mineral pigments. The paintings are characterised by empty space, resulting from his decision to leave sections unfinished: absence and emptiness have an important place in his poetry and works. In Lee Ufan’s artistic approach, there is no place for the object itself; rather, he focuses on the relationship between things. In his work, the aesthetic vision is translated for the viewer into an experience of time and space.
Lee Ufan’s recent personal exhibitions include those held at the Lisson Gallery, London (2015), Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Venice (2015) and Château de Versailles, France (2014). His works were exhibited at Punta della Dogana in the exhibition “Prima Materia” (2013-15) and at Palazzo Grassi for “The World Belongs to You” (2011-12).