Lee Dong-youb

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Lee Dong-youb
Revised RomanizationI Dong-yeop
McCune–ReischauerYi Tongyŏp

Lee, Dong Youb is a contemporary art painter in South Korea. As one of artists leading Korean Abstract Painting, he has developed his own philosophy about what contemporary art can propose after Post-modernism. The main subjects of his work are mutual relationship, cycling resonance and dynamic condition between original being and the environment. He suggests consistently that the distance or emptiness makes being exist and that there is no clear boundary anywhere.


Born in 1946, Lee Dong Youb graduated from Hong-Ik University and the graduate school. He got married with Lee Hye-Ran, the founder of Seoul Gallery where he held the first solo exhibition, in 1977. He has had solo exhibitions more than ten times such as in Seoul and Tokyo. He has participated in many group exhibitions in Japan, Seoul, New York, and Paris including the first `Independent' exhibition which sponsored by Korean Fine Arts Association. He lives in Seoul with his family.


He gives effort to show extremely expressing formality about white color and air through work. His work is far, broad, deep, and difficult because he has pursued the echo of cosmic perception from his early days. Bokijae of ancient times determined anonymous sky and ground as source of recognition, and made basic symbol emblem as drawing a line in the sky of empty like Taegeuk of national flag of Korea. He has employed his artistic indication from attitude, which conveys the representative symbol of quickening perfection from vibration of Biui, which has conceived from the ancient times. Therefore, his early works of 10 years ago occurred extraordinary attention which has kept until now.

Lew, June Sang (art critic, former chief curator of National Museum of Contemporary Art of Korea): When I said that "The vertical axis is vibrating delicately," I said so because since the drawn contours of vertical shapes are standing in a minor grading of shade and shadow, a phenomenon can be perceived in which the vertical steel, when struck, shakes to the left and the right for a while producing some lingering sounds in the wake.

Yusuke NAKAHARA (art critic): His works are typified by the annihilation of objects. In the works in which he painted a glass or one with ice floating in it, the outline of the objects was quite clear, but the outlines have gradually begun to disappear, and in his recent works the delineation of objects has been reduced to the point where only a suggestion of their existence remains. Rather than calling it a form, it is perhaps more proper to speak about in on the level of a momentary phenomenon. Moreover, as we feel it moving away into the distance out of our world of sight, it returns to the matrix white.

Kim Mikyung (Prof. Kangnam Univ. Art History): Lee Dong-Yeop debuted at the First Independents Exhibition (1972) with paintings of semi-transparent cups against a white background. At the FIVE HINSEK show, he presented images of melting cups on neutral-colored canvases. What his paintings address wasn't the problem of white tone per se, but rather: 'if the cup is a container of the universe, ice is the existence in it; through depicting the processes of melting and evaporation of ice and the resulting emptiness, the painting suggests the fungible or inconstant nature of things. Nonetheless, the indistinct white-toned background was already there in all of his paintings, and the Japanese organizers paid attention to this aspect of his work.


Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2008 Hak-go-jae, Seoul
  • 2008 Leeahn Gallery, Daegu
  • 2005 Tong-In Auction Gallery, Seoul
  • 2003 CAIS Gallery, Seoul
  • 2002 Gallery M, Daegu
  • 2000 Gallery Bhak, Seoul
  • 1993 Haenan-Kent Gallery, New York, USA
  • 1992 Koart Gallery, Seoul
  • 1988 Saem Gallery, Seoul
  • 1985 Yoon Gallery, Seoul
  • 1983 Space Gallery, Seoul
  • 1977 Seoul Gallery, Seoul
  • 1977 Mura Matsu Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Group exhibitions (selected)[edit]

  • 2008 Inter-viewing Paintings: the Interface between Eastern-style paintings and Western-style paintings in South Korea, SOMA museum of art, Seoul
  • 2007 Hommage 100: Korean Contemporary Art 1970-2007, Korea Art Center, Busan
  • 2007 Korea International Art Fair, COEX, Korea
  • 2006 100 Years of Korean Art - Part 2: Tradition, Human, Art, Reality, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
  • 2002 Re-reading of Korean Contemporary Art III; Critical Reviews of 70's Monochrome Paintings, Hanwon Museum of Art, Seoul
  • 2000 The Nature, Posco Museum, Seoul
  • 2000 Trace-Eternal Trace and Pure Surface, CAIS Gallery, Seoul
  • 2000 Gwangju Biennale Special Exhibition - Aspect of Contemporary Korean-Japan Art, Gwangju
  • 1997 Korean Art 97 - Humanism · Animalism · Mechanism, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
  • 1996 Korean Monochrome Painting in the 1970s, Gallery Hyundae, Seoul
  • 1993 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea, Miyagi Museum, Japan
  • 1991 A Grouping for the Identity of Contemporary Korean Art III, Hanwon Museum, Seoul
  • 1990 Seoul Art Fair, Hoam Gallery, Seoul
  • 1987 Black & White in Korean Contemporary Art, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
  • 1986 Pastel Contemporain Coreen, Culturel Centre de Coreen, Paris, France
  • 1986 Korean Contemporary Arts, Galleries National de Grand Palais, Paris
  • 1986 86' ASIA Contemporary Art Exhibition, National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul
  • 1984 The 3rd Human Document 84/85, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1984 Korean Contemporary Art Exhibition, Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taiwan
  • 1984 Exposition de La Peinture Blanche, Centre Culturel Francais de Seoul, Seoul
  • 1983 Korean Contemporary Art Exhibition- "The Latter Half of the 70's - An Aspect", Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum / Museum of Modern Art / The National Museum of International Art, Osaka / The Museum of Modern Art Hokkaido, Sapporo / The Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan
  • 1983 Korea New Paper Works, Spring Gallery, China
  • 1982 The Phase of Korean Contemporary Art, Tokyo Art Museum, Japan
  • 1982 The Contemporary Formative Exhibition of Paper of Korea & Japan, National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul in Korea and Kyoto in Japan
  • 1982 The Contemporary Artists Print & Drawing Exhibition, Myung-Dong Gallery, Seoul
  • 1981 Drawing 81, National Museum of Art, Seoul
  • 1981 Young Artists Exhibition, National Museum of Art, Seoul
  • 1981 Korean Drawing Now, Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA
  • 1980 The 36 Contemporary Artists, Kwan-Hoon Gallery, Seoul
  • 1980 Asian Contemporary Art Festival, Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan
  • 1980 Grand Exhibition of Korean Prints & Drawings, National Museum of Art, Seoul
  • 1980 Union Exhibition of Korean Contemporary Art (Origin Association & Korean Contemporary Sculpture Association), Kwan-Hoon Gallery, Seoul
  • 1980 ASIA Contemporary Art Exhibition, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 1979 Korean Arts Methods of Today, Fine Art Center Gallery, Seoul
  • 1979 Union Exhibition of Art Groups, National Museum of Art, Seoul
  • 1978 The Trend for the Past 20 Years in Korean Contemporary Arts, National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul
  • 1978 Korean Contemporary Painting & Sculpture Exhibition, National Museum of Art, Seoul
  • 1978 Work on Paper, Kyun-Ji Gallery, Seoul
  • 1977 Korea Facet of Contemporary Art, Tokyo Central Museum, Japan
  • 1977 Korea-China Contemporary Art, National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 1976-1984 Origin Group Show, Seoul
  • 1976 Invited Exhibition of 5 Korean Contemporary Artists, Seoul Gallery, Seoul
  • 1975-1985 Ecole de Seoul, Seoul
  • 1975 Korea Five Artists - Hinsek(White), Tokyo Gallery, Japan
  • 1974 The 6th International Painting Festival, Cagness, France
  • 1973 Korean Contemporary Art 1957-1972 Abstraction: Situation Plastiqiue & Anti-Plastique, Myoung-Dong Gallery
  • 1972 The 1st Independents, Seoul

Museum collections[edit]

  • Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art, Japan
  • National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul/Guacheon
  • Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA), Seoul
  • The Ho-Am Art Museum, Seoul
  • The Museum of Hong-Ik University, Seoul
  • Busan Metropolitan Museum of Art, Busan
  • Sunggok Art Museum, Seoul
  • POSCO Museum, Seoul
  • Hakgojae, Seoul


  • 1980 Grand Prize at the 7th Korean Fine Art Grand Prize Exhibition, Hankuk Ilbo, Seoul
  • 1978 Special Selection at the 1st Grand Exhibition, Joongang Ilbo, Seoul
  • 1978 Excellent Frontier Prize at the 5th Grand Exhibition of Korean Fine Arts, Hankuk Ilbo, Seoul
  • 1974 Prize at the 6th Cagness International Painting Festival, Cagness, France
  • 1972 Grand Prize at the 1st Independents, Korean Fine Arts Association, Seoul

See also[edit]

External links[edit]