THE FABRIC OF LIFE
The Korean artist Seulgi Lee finds beauty in domesticity with her bold, multicoloured textiles and rugs
Colourful woven creations by the Korean artist Seulgi Lee
It seems fitting that when Seulgi Lee describes what art means to her, she refers to a humble piece of crockery. ‘Art is like a bowl that contains life,’ says the Seoul-born, Paris-based artist, who uses language, vibrant colour and elegant shapes to instil new meaning in domestic objects. Handwoven baskets and traditional Korean rugs form the basis of her solo show, which opens at Gallery Hyundai this month. Sewn by local artisan weavers from Tongyeong, the striking textiles depict Korean proverbs in abstract visual forms. Her work Show a Duck’s Foot (meaning ‘to tell a lie’) is represented by an orange diamond, sliced with yellow, surrounded by blocks of magenta, green, red and blue. Beautiful in isolation, it becomes all the more mesmerising when you read its hidden message.
The dyes are particularly important to Lee, who believes that ‘colours are spiritual’. Her bold palette has also allowed her to flit between the worlds of art and fashion. Hermès commissioned her to make a collection of limited-edition cashmere quilts in 2017 and next spring, one of her carpets will feature alongside seven others created for Ikea by designers such as Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of menswear. The interiors giant launched the Art Rug initiative as a way of bringing art out of galleries and museums and into the home. ‘I am very excited by this project,’ says Lee. ‘If art makes people enjoy life more, then why not?’
‘The Committee of Happy Silencers’ is at Gallery Hyundai (www.galleryhyundai.com) from 15 November to 23 December. Ikea Art Rugs will be available from spring 2019.
Above: Seulgi Lee’s ‘Spilled Water = Too Late’ (2018). Above right: her ‘Fan the Burning House = Make the SituationWorse’ (2018)
Left: ‘Repair the Cowshed After Losing the Cow = Too Late’ (2018). Right:‘The Young Leaf is Yellow = Wrong Beginning’ (2018)