Yona Lee

Born 1986 in Busan (South Korea),
lives and works in Auckland (New Zealand)

Yona Lee makes large, immersive, labyrinthine installations, using stainless-steel pipes assembled into elaborate linear structures. Incorporating items extracted from urban and domestic spaces (furniture, decor, seats, beds…), the artist infuses her oeuvre with an everyday surrealism. Producing site-specific works, she arranges systems and networks that can equally seem authoritarian and utopian, utilitarian and playful. A musician who plays the cello, she conceives her artworks as scores, which visitors are invited to interpret and engage with. The artist analyses the spatial and social peculiarities of the host site so that she can respond appropriately. Her intention is not to colonise this space, but rather to emphasise its natural characteristics in order to create an environment that stretches from floor to ceiling — in the present case, on an elevated platform allowing other points of view on the surrounding works — and becomes an integral part of the architecture. The exhibition space, formerly a manufacturing facility, is thus both the container and the subject of the piece, linking factory work and artistic work and evoking the human flow inherent to the site’s two uses.

With the support of the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism of Korea (MCST), Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS), and the grant program Fund for Korean Art Abroad (FKAA)
With the assistance of Centre Culturel Coréen

Yona Lee, In transit (highway), 2019. Courtesy de l’artiste, de la Biennale de Lyon 2019 et (of the artist, the 2019 Lyon Biennale and) Fine Arts, Sydney. © Blaise Adilon