From Point, From Line.

Lee Ufan is recognized for his unconventional artistic processes which underscore the relationship between the viewer, the artwork, and the spaces they inhabit and for philosophical writings that challenge prevailing notions of artmaking with attention on spatial and temporal conditions.”

As one of the foremost figures in breaking conventions as a painter, sculptor and philosopher in Korea, Japan and Europe, Lee marked his status as one of the leading advocates of Japanese avant-garde antiformalist ‘Mono-ha’ and the Monochrome movement (Dansaekhwa) of Korea in the 1960s-80s by effectively banishing imagery and materialization and instead opting for reductive elements that echo the Eastern philosophical paradigm of Taoism. ––––

Lee In 2006, Lee Ufan, the leader of following movements:

  • Mono-ha(School of Things) has similarity of Materialism and Art Povera – attempts to bring art closer to life with the common language common people recognise. 物派关注物体和空间的关系
  • Dansaekhwa (Monochrome painting in Korean) refers to a loose grouping of painting practice that emerged in Korea starting in the 1960s that also explored materiality. 

“Tension and sensation, presence and absence, the essential binaries of Lee’s art, are expressed in their stunning totality in the present work. The focus of Lee’s practice is inextricably bound to these dualities, as equal importance is placed on the artist’s marks and on the areas of quiet pause that emerge between them.”

 “A work of art is a site where places of making and not making, painting and not painting, are linked so that they reverberate with one another.”


“Cobalt blue powdered mineral pigment (or orange powdered mineral pigment) is dissolved in glue, or sometimes in oil, and left for a while until the color stabilizes. Before working, I calm my breathing, correct my posture, and hold my brush quietly.”


“我既不是日本人,也不是西方人,不属于传统, 也不属于西方的当代;既不可能成为一个西方艺术家, 也不想做一个纯粹的东方艺术家。”

Lee Ufan

Lee Ufan, From Point (1974). Oil on canvas. Photo: Courtesy Kukje Gallery

Lee Ufan

From Point (1974)

Lee Ufan (b. 1936)
From Line, 76045
signed and dated ‘L. U-FAN 76’ (lower right); signed and titled ‘No. 76045, Lee u-fan’ (on the reverse)
oil and pigment on canvas
31 5/8 x 39 3/8in. (80.5 x 100cm.)
Painted in 1976
Lee Ufan, ‘Untitled’, 1979, Drawing, Collage or other Work on Paper, Gouache on paper, Seoul Auction
Untitled, 1979
Gouache on paper
28.5 × 36 cm

Eastern philosophy of Korean artist Lee Ufan,
demonstrating the realtionship between the viewer, the artwork, and the spaces.
From Point, From Line. 1976-1982

In 1967, he published the book of The Aesthetics of Self-Contradiction

“From Point and From Line series, which concluded in 1984. Exhibiting a distilled visual language based on an amalgamation of Eastern and Western aesthetics and philosophy, these works emphasize system, structure, and process through fields of dots or lines to create tension between his gestures and the picture plane, while marking the passage of time.”


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