Art@Site Lee Ufan Relatum Bochum

Lee Ufan



Schlosspark Haus Weitmar
Interesting artwork
I find Relatum by Lee Ufan an interesting artwork. I love to see the materials and like to fantasize about it's meaning. For me it’s difficult to have feelings about it.
The sheets of metal form a kind of shelter. Than I directly think of protection.
I notice that I have different ideas and feelings about the stone blocks. With the rocks under the shelter I think about people who have found shelter. The same kind of stones on the left- and the right-hand side have a support function to me. They may be ballast for the tent.
I love the colors and the weathering on the metal. I love the natural colors and shapes of the pieces of stone. It’s exciting how the monumental forms are in contrast with the nature of the materials that Lee Ufan used for his Relatum.
By Theo,

Interessant kunstwerk
Relatum van Lee Ufan vind ik een interessant kunstwerk. Ik kijk graag naar de materialen en houd ervan om te fantaseren over de betekenis ervan. Ik heb er moeite mee om er gevoelens bij te hebben.
De metalen platen vormen een soort afdak. Dan denk ik direct aan beschutting.
Ik merk dat ik verschillende ideeën en gevoelens heb bij de brokken natuursteen. Bij de stenen onder het afdak denk ik aan mensen die beschutting vinden. Dezelfde soort stenen aan de linker- en rechterkant hebben voor mij eerder een ondersteunende functie. Zij zijn misschien ballast voor de tent.
Ik geniet van de kleuren van de verwering van het metaal. Ik houd van de natuurlijke vormen en kleuren van de brokken natuursteen. Het is spannend hoe de monumentale vormen in contrast staat met de natuurlijkheid van de materialen die Lee Ufan heeft gebruikt bij zijn Relatum.
Door Theo,
Wenn die Findlinge für die Natur und die Stahlplatten für das vom Menschen geschaffene Künstliche stehen, so zeigt Relatum, wie sich beides gegenseitig bedingt. Standort: Schlosspark Haus Weitmar. Geschenk des Künstlers an die Stiftung Situation Kunst.
Lee Ufan, *1936 Kyongnam / Korea, lebt und arbeitet in Tokio und Paris.
Relatum, 1978.
Vier Eisenplatten, vier Steine, ca. 250 x 180 x 250 cm.
Active in Korea, Japan, and France since the 1960s, Lee Ufan has been creating a visual, conceptual, and theoretical terrain that has radically expanded the possibilities for Post-Minimalist painting and sculpture. Lee’s innovative body of work revolves around the notion of encounter—seeing the bare existence of what is actually before us and focusing on “the world as it is.”
For Lee, restraint in creating art—even letting what has been created disappear—shifts the status of his works from that of material objects to fleeting lived experiences, and his nonproduction emerges as a nuanced critique of the Western societal prevalence of surplus and overproduction. Relatum, the title of all Lee’s sculptures, is a philosophical term denoting things or events between which a relation exists. This radical approach to the artwork, not as an object but as a network of relationships, shifts artistic experience to an act of encounter, an occasion that unfolds around the viewer in a particular time and space. Since his early Mono-ha period, Lee has restricted his choice of materials to steel plates and stones, focusing on their precise conceptual and spatial juxtaposition. The steel plate—hard, heavy, solid—is used to build things in the modern world; the stone, in its natural, as-is state, “belongs to an unknown world,” as the artist puts it, beyond the self and outside modernity, evoking the Other or “externality.”

Painter, sculptor, writer and philosopher Lee Ufan came to prominence in the late 1960s as one of the major theoretical and practical proponents of the avant-garde Mono-ha (Object School) group.
The Mono-ha school of thought was Japan’s first contemporary art movement to gain international recognition. It rejected Western notions of representation, focusing on the relationships of materials and perceptions rather than on expression or intervention.
The artists of Mono-ha present works made of raw physical materials that have barely been manipulated. In 1991 Lee Ufan began his series of Correspondance paintings, which consist of just one or two grey-blue brushstrokes, made of a mixture of oil and crushed stone pigment, applied onto a large white surface.
His sculptural series Relatum is equally minimal: each work is comprised of one or more light-colored round stones and dark, rectangular iron plates. The dialectical relationship between brushstroke and canvas is mimicked in the relationship between stone and iron plate. In Ufan’s installations space is at the same time untouched and engaged, at the confines between doing and non-doing.
The relationship between painted / unpainted and occupied / empty space lies at the heart of Lee Ufan’s practice.