Jaehyo Lee is a Korean contemporary sculptor, born in 1965 in Hapchen, Korea. Since graduating in 1992 with a BFA from the Hong-Ik University, the artist has gained acclaim both in his native Korea and internationally for his distinct yet intimately crafted oeuvre. His work is widely collected by national museums and premium hotels, and awarded and exhibited by Opera Gallery and many others.
Lee works to suit individual requirements. Feel free to ask for more information about dimensions and prices.
Working with wood and metal, Jaehyo Lee produces immaculately formed, intricate sculptures that reveal a mastery of his materials and a winking, sophisticated wit.
Lee eschews traditional distinctions between the fine and applied arts and makes both functional and functionless works, presenting benches, stools, and tables alongside abstract, biomorphic forms.
Burnt-black wood often serves as the sculptural ground into which Lee embeds discs of fresh wood or bent steel bolts and nails. His wood-on-wood combinations read as playful meditations on the multifaceted nature of wood itself, while the nails that often cover his wooden surfaces seem transformed into worms or spermatozoa—recalling a slithering, energetic galaxy of organisms.
“Until recently, my work has been about combining wood with nails or steel bars and integrating them into geometrical shapes such as spheres, hemispheres, or cylinders. Whenever I did this, one of my problems was to keep the nails and bolts out of sight. Now, on the contrary, I put an emphasis on the nails themselves. I drive countless nails into wood, bend them, grind them, and make them protrude. I then burn the wood, blackening its growth ring records and its natural color. The glittering metallic nails on the black charcoal become ever more conspicuous, and through this process, I draw a picture on wood using nails. Those who make a hard living may be the ones who make this world a beautiful place. I certainly do not have the power to make it beautiful. I just hope to reveal the beauty in what is usually seen but not noticed. It may be a rusty bent nail. If you take a close look at it, however, you’ll find out how beautiful it can be.” – Jaehyo Lee