Lee Bul, Willing to be vulnerable
Born in 1964 in Seoul, South Korea, where she lives and works.
WILLING TO BE VULNERABLE -METALIZED BALLOON, 2022
Nylon taffeta fabric, polyester with aluminum foil,
fan, electronic wiring
20 × 3,5 m
Commission in situ for Hangar Y - Collection Frédéric Jousset
Lee Bul is a major figure of the Korean artistic scene. Through a wide-ranging body of work imbued with baroque and futuristic imagery, she interrogates how modern art, architecture and technology have shaped our real and imagined worlds. Lee Bul draws inspiration from European and South Korean cinema, literature and history to create hybrid forms that convey a fantastic and often disconcerting dystopian vision. In 1999, she represented South Korea at the Venice Biennale.
This futuristic installation is reminiscent of the Hindenburg airship, the spearhead of German industry in the 1930s, infamous for its spectacular explosion on May the 6th, 1937. What was once a popular symbol of the modern era has suddenly become obsolete and historic. In this context, the work, which appears to have stopped in mid-air, refers to the history of the Hangar Y, where the first closed circuit airship flight was held in 1884. Willing To Be Vulnerable recreates symbols and fragments of modernity on a monumental scale, using light and airy materials such as transparent film and tent cloth. The thin aluminium skin, reflecting the space, gives a vulnerable, elusive and fragile appearance to this airship. The installation creates an immersive space filled with the visceral and palpable memory of a fading or decaying modernity, which resonates in this immense space.