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Face Trace 006, 2012, 24×18.5×21.6㎝, resin, artificial teeth, stainless steel wire, acrylic, aluminum plate, bolt

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Face Trace 001, 2012, 36×22.4×23㎝, resin, artificial teeth, stainless steel wire, acrylic, aluminum plate, bolt

Hyungkoo Lee Solo Exhibition 2012, October 11 ~ November 23, 2012

Gallery Skape is pleased to present the solo exhibition Face Trace of Hyungkoo Lee, the artist who represented the Korean pavilion of Venice Biennial in 2007. Based on the research of physiognomy, Hyungkoo Lee’s new body of work entitled Face Trace is exhibited for the first time in two years. The artist captures his own various facial expressions and intentionally fragments into several parts. By reassembling them according to the studies of physiognomy, he composes totally different figures. Face Trace is created by overlapping skull structures of several human races and different parts of artist’s multiple facial expressions. This process follows the method of facial reconstruction used in forensic science. Positioning himself as the absolutist of creation, being a creator and a creation at the same time, he created virtual figures originated from the reality; referring to the real images to create new images is the process often used in his art making. Although, such transformed figures seem as real people who could exist in the reality. This series Face Trace where the sense of gravity and seriousness is wisely modulated transcends the border between incompleteness and completion. Also it offers the sense of humor and wit that generally lies on Hyungkoo Lee’s art world.

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Lepus Animatus head(muscle attachment), 2015, 85×30.7×27.3cm, pedestal 110x40x40cm, resin, oil paint

An unsettling, bulging eyeball in the intricate mixed-media drawing, A06 (2005-06), greeted viewers at the entrance to “Animatuseum,” Seoul-based Hyungkoo Lee’s New York solo debut. Part cartoon, part scientific study, the image set the tone for the exhibition, which played humor and objectivity off each other, while presenting the findings of the artist’s recent archaeological excavations of pop culture in displays reminiscent of natural history museum dioramas.

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Canis D Animatus(muscle attachment), 2015, 139x96x44.5cm, pedestal 12x140x70cm, resin, glass, oil paint

Distributed throughout Arario’s darkened galleries were examples of Lee’s “Animatus” series (2005-07), wonderfully detailed and realistic skeletons of well-known American cartoon characters, theatrically lit and grouped together in suspended animation. Leading with a spindly right claw and hyper-extended neck is Road Runner in Geococcyx Animatus (2005-06), his beak open mid-“Beep! Beep!” and pursued by the persistent Wile E. Coyote, Canis Latrans Animatus (2005-06). Elsewhere, Jerry flees from a pouncing Tom, and an irate Donald Duck hovers high above his trio of mischievous nephews.

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Anas Df Animatus, 2015, 85.5x88x42.5cm, resin, aluminum sticks, stainless steel wires, springs, oil paint

The fabricated fossils were meticulously crafted in Lee’s workshop out of cast resin after much careful study of actual animal anatomies, preliminary sketches and prototypes, many of which were also on display. Somewhat unexpectedly, the act of translating animations into objects gives these characters a weighty spatial presence, bolstered by the evidentiary authority associated with fossils. Lee’s sculptures make it seem as if the Looney Tunes characters actually walked the earth.

Hyungkoo Lee

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