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Redefining Contemporary Beauty:
 by DongYeoun Lee
Feb 24-March 14, 2016
Opening Reception:
Thursday, February 25th & March 3rd, from 6-8PM.



Gallery d’Arte, 547 West 27th Street, Suite 518 New York City is proud to present Dong Yeoun Lee: Redefining Contemporary Beauty. The Solo Exhibition will run from February 24- March 14, 2016 with Opening Receptions on Thursday, February 25th & March 3rd, from 6-8PM.

Genre painting of literati and their lives including beautiful women proliferated in Korea of the 19thCentury during the Joseon Dynasty. Although the subjects were Korean, the inspiration came from Chinese painting as seen in the early works of Ku Kai Chih, Chou Fang who depicted the beauties of their time. In Korea, by the later Joseon Dynasty Chinese influence waned and Korean portraiture attained its own distinct flavor. These were seen in the paintings of the Yangban or literati class painters who depicted the great beauties of Korea as seen in Sin Yun-bok’s painting The Beauty, 18C or Kim Duk-sin’s Women out Walking, 18C. But while these old masters were using the notion of portraiture to portray their skill or the existence of the great beauties of their time, Lee uses the portrait to examine the notion of illusory existence as compared to the one in Buddhism, but also as metaphor of the ‘Other.’

Dong-Yeoun Lee’s beauties are self-portraits that examine the reflection of her inner being and feelings of a Kierkegaard-ian existential incompleteness. So in this sense Lee goes back to her history to bring it up to date by focusing on the individual’s experience. She acknowledges the uneasy partnership between mind and body while focusing on sensory perception in order to negotiate the existential divide. Her creative instinct is an act of self-assertion as much as it is an act of defiance and freedom.

Her beauties wear Hanbok while holding android phones, or wearing earphones, thus they are contemporary females yet because of their 19th Century dress, signal their captivity in a Confucian society. However, unlike her predecessors Lee expresses her beauties in strong line and color without areas of fading or very delicate soft tree branches. Her line is confident and sure, and her color bright and high toned. The Hanbok was meant to hide the female body according to modest behavior but the flouting of modern self-absorption with telephones and earphones is the opposite of Confucian etiquette. So that Lee in a way in ridding herself of the social shackles to pursue her own interests and preferences.

Lee earned her BA. MFA and Ph.d Certificate from HongIk University and had exhibitions at the prestigious places, such as Hangaram Museum, Hana Art, Morning Calm Gallery and the Southwest Museum and this is her first solo exhibition in New York.

For More Information:
Gallery d’Arte, 547 West 27th Street, Suite 518, New York, NY 10001 or call 201.724.7077

Gallery hours: Tue-Fri: 12-6pm, Sat: 12-3pm, Sun & Mon: Closed

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