Kyu-Hak Lee has devoted his practice to mastering the art of recreating and reimagining iconic works from art history, with a particular affinity for Van Gogh. To do so, Lee uses a unique method of mixed-media mosaic, which involves using Polystyrene or Styrofoam strips as the building blocks of his assemblages, wrapping these strips with magazine and newspaper, and then covering them with a layer of hanji, a traditional handmade Korean paper. These strips are then put together piece by piece to create the final work that is reminiscent of, yet quite distinct from his inspiration.
Lee's unconventional artistic approach is a social commentary on the consumerism of modern civilization, and questions the intrinsic values of the millennial era. Using everyday materials as a gesture of upcycling, Lee utlizes Styrofoam as his base material best represents the vanity of contemporary culture, as it is fragile, flammable, and mostly air while still being non-biodegradable and difficult to dispose of. The translucent hanji wrapped over the layer of magazine and newspaper represents the role of humans in the world through tradition and lineage. And the torn publications represent the ways in which writing is being replaced by other media as a driving force within contemporary society
Born in Gyeongju, South Korea, Kyu-Hak Lee received a Master of Fine Arts from Chung-Ang University, and currently lives and works in Korea. He has since exhibited in Miami, Seoul, Paris, Zürich and Frankfurt, and his work are held in the Boghossian Foundation in Belgium, Busch Co. in Germany, Artist Pension Trust in England, Arteallimite Collection in Chile, and private collections in Monaco, London, New York, Paris, Miami, Shanghai, Geneva and Mexico.