The show focuses on Lee’s performance pieces from the 1970s with the title taken from iconic work ‘Disappearance, Bar in the Gallery’, introduced at his first solo exhibition. It embraces the artist’s interpretation of and long held interest in the concepts of the cosmos, the orderly system of nature, and becoming and disappearance, bringing together photography, video and installation.
‘Disappearance, Bar in the Gallery’ is recreated for this exhibition, with a bar installed in the ground floor gallery space. First shown in 1973 at Seoul’s Myong-Dong Gallery, the performance poses a challenge to the separation of art and life – bar snacks and rice wine sit atop tables, encouraging viewers to take a seat and join the scene. The work was unprecedented in making audience participation central to the process and execution of the performance. The traditional pub or chumak setting acted as an equalizer, subverting perceived links between social class and performance art via its diverse range of visitors. Also on show is ‘Untitled 75031’, exhibited at the 1975 Paris Biennale. Chalk is scattered on the gallery floor and a chicken tied to a central post leaves footprints across the surface, exploring the potential of images.
Lee was one of the founding members of both the Korean Avant-Garde Association and in 1974, the first Korean Contemporary Art Festival, Daegu Contemporary Art Festival in Daegu, Korea. His work was exhibited by Gallery Hyundai at Frieze New York earlier this year. This exhibition coincides with the opening of the Seoul Mediacity Biennale (6 September), Gwangju Biennale (7 September), and Busan Biennale (8 September).
Lee Kang-So (b.1943) lives and works in Anseong, Korea. He works experimentally with various media including painting, video, performance, installation, photography and pottery. He graduated from the Painting Department of Seoul National University in 1965. In 1991 Lee went to the State University of New York at Albany as a visiting artist whilst working as a professor in Gyeongsang University, and later joined the Studio Artists Program at MoMA PS1. His work is in numerous public and private collections internationally, including the National Museum Of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea; Seoul Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Seoul, Korea; Daegu Art & Culture Hall, Daegu, Korea; Open Air Sculpture Garden Asadal, Gyeongju, Korea; The International Museum Of 20th Century Arts & Cultural Center, Laguna Beach, California, USA; Written Art Foundation, Frankfurt, Germany; and Mie Museum of Art, Miegen, Japan.