London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Jin Han Lee: Keen Feet, at Union Pacific

Date: Friday 31 May - Saturday 13 July 2024
Union Pacific | 15 West Central Street | Holborn | London WC1A 1JJ | | [Map]

Tickets: Free | Official exhibition notice on gallery website
Gallery hours Tuesday – Saturday 11–6pm
Jin Han Lee Keen Feet installation view

The feet are both a bridge between the self and environment, as well as the self and others (it is more intimate, for example, to entwine one’s feet with another’s, than to join hands). For the artist Jin Han Lee (b. 1982, Seoul, South Korea), the feet relate to the boundaries of self and non-self, their sensory nature forming the primary means of her observations. Whether they appear in her painted environments or not, Lee’s work is always related to places her feet have been situated, rendered in explosive and spontaneous strokes of colour as if she is pursuing a fleeting, fading memory.

In Full Moon and Two Feet (2024), the title alludes to a nighttime scene, yet rich amber and scarlet shades suggest warmth: that generated by intimacy, or the joining of two bodies; two feet. In utilising the sensory as their predominant mode of communication, Lee’s monumental canvases exist in a space beyond language and its restrictions; though abstract, they are rooted in her South Korean heritage and experience of living in the UK. Despite this, their nature is immersive: in their psychedelic colour palettes, expressive brush strokes and large scale, they invite their audience to enter the artist’s innermost experiences and weave them with their own.

Within each canvas, the hallucinatory nature creates a tension between the experienced and the remembered; the real and the imagined. It also links to the importance Lee places on constructing a space for introspection through her work. Rather than being purely escapist, the works draw on the unspoken– or unspeakable– moments of everyday experience, expanding them to bold terrains. Their aim is not to represent the facts, but to convey the sensations evoked by the artist’s ‘keen feet’.

The paintings from this exhibition are conceptually rooted in the text Her Keen Feet, written in 2015 by curator Hyo Gyoung Jeon

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