Kwangho Lee Infinite Expansion
S94 Design presents Kwangho Lee’s first solo exhibition in New York, Infinite Expansion. From baked enamel, and metal sheets to malleable rope, Lee has been experimenting and refining familiar processes in the last two decades of his career. Infinite expansion exemplifies Kwangho’s ever growing knowledge and curiosity of metal and rope that transforms lines and planes into functional objects, and displays a survey of Lee’s materiality range.
Lee began working with knotted ropes over 15 years ago, with pvc rope draped over bulbs to create shades. Expanding on his knotted process Lee steps out of the box to combine various materials providing planters, and other objects a wider range of colors and textures. Beginning as a line, ropes in various materials are knotted, woven, or tied together to create intentional chaos, with no identifiable beginning or end, they form an infinite loop.
As a former metal craft major while at the Hongik University in Seoul, Lee has expanded his material expertise to work with nylon, silk, leather, foam, pvc, and electrical wire. Never losing touch with his metal practice, Lee’s enameled copper, borrows from an ancient Korean technique chilbo, which roughly translates to “seven colors of gem”, and is traditionally used in small jewelry or household objects. The ancient craft employs crushed coloured glass that is applied wet or dry onto brass or copper sheets and fired. “A traditional kiln for chilbo is quite small because the chilbo crafts are made in small sizes” says Lee, and with restricted access to institutional kilns in the past few years, Lee decided to build his own kiln in his studio, allowing him to work with the copper and enamel more intimately, and providing him more control and space for building copper forms and mixing enamel colors.
The continuity in Kwangho Lee’s practice builds on a foundation of existing materials, and expands the vocabulary that Kwangho has developed with both knotted and metal enameled works. Lee has created a system that allows him to build and introduce new shapes – a platform for infinite expansion.