Born in Korea in 1963 and having attained his Masters in Fine Arts from Keimyung University, Korea, in 2007, the adept Lee Jungwoong never fails to astound. Using Korean rice paper and Western oil paint he brings poetic and almost literal life into his subjects. His Chinese brushes and ebony ink splotches, swipes and bleeds showcase dynamism and motion that far surpass a simple two-dimensional image. They are accompanied by gleaming wood and brush hairs visible in the coarseness of every individual strand. The amount of detailing renders his works flawless, sometimes causing viewers to lean in, trying to find the brushstrokes that created the glossy smoothness of the handles, the soaked transience of the paper and the compliance of every brush hair.
From chaotic splashes of ink to cleansing bold strokes on a stark background, the artist instills the depicted inanimate object with emotion and spirituality, using space and the placement of background and foreground to expatiate the yin and yang he portrays. From vast expanses to crowded canvases, the dynamism of his brush and its hyper-realistic rendering creates a tangibility that strikes the mind and stirs the soul, adding an amplitude of meaning to his stunning aesthetics, resulting in perceptive masterpieces of infinite motion. Contrasting colors and spiritual energies are not the end of his elaborate expression, however. His choice of western style and paint to depict a Chinese object is as much a play on culture contrasts as it is a reflection on the artist and his subject. Lee Jungwoong’s works are hence multifaceted in both meaning and visuals – their magnificence is only amplified by the variety of interpretations.
The artist’s ‘Brush’ series has found worldwide success; Jungwoong has had his works exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions in countries such as America, Switzerland, Singapore and Spain, and has featured in auctions by Sotheby’s and Christie’s. He is becoming an increasingly sought-after artist found in prestigious collections the world over.