Lee Bul: Crash into a world between art and reality

“I wanted to remove the line that divides reality and art and merge them together to see how it unfolded” – Lee Bul

One of the most important Korean artists of her generation. Graduated in Sculpture in Seoul in 1987 recognized in it a limit for her expression and opened her practice to Performance and Art Installation. Her work goes beyond science fiction and visionary architecture, it reaches the state of dream and explores utopias. Besides, a great expression of her personal experiences and subtle allusions to her contemporary history and politics of Korea.

Unbelievable how she transports you to a parallel universe, where past and future collides and the landscape are completely distinct but coherent to the same world. Her transformative scenarios inspire visitors to perceive themselves as an integral part of the experience. This perception is not only active but a deeply personal one, as two experiences of space, will ever be exactly alike.

For this reason, senses should be a keyword to understand the emotional engagement with the artworks. This is not only a matter of the concept of space but parallel to emotions.“Even with more complex topics, emotions are generated, creating unique experiences. Such experiences have a long-term effect, allowing the spectator to internalise what has been seen, heard and learned.”(Tamschick,2015)

“The exhibition Crash is an expression of Lee Bul’s extensive exploration of the nature of bodies and how they define our experience of the world by evoking sensations of their boundaries and borders. The exhibition, thereby, creates its own landscape, oscillating between science fiction … and microscopic glances.” – Martin Gropius Bau Museum Berlin

Personal thoughts and highlights of the whole experience are all the large-scale installations as: “Via Negativa II” and “Heaven an earth”. The beauty of her perfectionism in every sculpture and work made me lose myself entirely in her world collected in Gropius Bau.

Besides all her majestic artworks, the fact that she was a woman, in a society as notoriously patriarchal as Korea’s, and especially growing up in the change between military Dictatorship and democracy, is remarkable. This experience made me reflect on my role as woman and artist, and like her, to aim to conceive my own universe to people to walk through. A way to have experience of me, not as flesh and bones, but through my most intimate vision and understanding of the world. My own universe between art and reality. A dream that might come true, or perhaps just a utopia to aim for.

“I know so many great women artists in Korea because, when women want to be an artist they have to sacrifice everything. It’s art alone for them, so they are very, very strong.”- Lee Bul


29 September 2018 to 13 January 2019

Gropius Bau

Opening hours:

WED to MON 10:00 to 19:00
TUE closed


€ 11 / reduced € 8
Admission free up to 16 years of age

Claudia Livia