press release

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is pleased to present internationally recognised sculptor, Lee Bul’s first solo exhibition in New Zealand, Lee Bul: 2005 International Artist in Residence. Recognised for a practice that embraces sculpture and interactive media, Lee Bul has created a major new installation, Mon grand récit: because everything . . . , 2005 as part of her Govett-Brewster Art Gallery residency.

In this new project Lee Bul extends her interest in constructed environments and the ambivalence of surface appearance as a means to comment on humanity's search for perfection and the ultimate failure of that search. The artist has drawn from a range of historical and contemporary sources, as well as from her own memories, and carefully combined these diverse references to create a unique and fantastical environment. Made from common industrial materials, it is an intricate and complex structural representation of an imagined city recalling historical conceptions of the edge of the world. Drawing from sources as varied as constructivist architecture, contemporary motorway design, and mid-century literature, Lee Bul has created a monument to the utopian quest.

The exhibition will also include works from Lee Bul’s previous cyborg series. The cyborg sculptures W2 and W4 (1998) are early examples of her exploration of humanity's desire for perfection. The idealised forms suggest a human and machine hybrid, and investigate ideas about the relationship between beauty, perfection, and technological progress. Also on view is a work from her recent karaoke pod series. Live Forever III (2001) is a sleek, soundproof pod for one, featuring lush upholstery and a personalised karaoke setup. Viewers are able to choose from a pre-selected number of familiar pop songs, which they can sing while viewing one of the artist's video works.

To support this major exhibition the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in association with Asia New Zealand presents a series of lectures given by Jung-hee Kim, international art historian and Professor of Painting at College of Fine Arts, Seoul National University. Professor Jung-hee Kim will discuss the work of Lee Bul in relation to current trends in sculpture and multimedia art.

This exhibition is curated by Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Director Greg Burke. This is Burke’s last exhibition at the gallery before he takes up the directorship at The Power Plant in Toronto, Canada.


only in german

Lee Bul: 2005 International Artist in Residence
Kurator: Greg Burke