The artist himself states that his works are not created from seeing real books although his studio is full of books. However, Lee’s remark is absolutely true. He wholly experiences the books, and lays those experiences in his paintings. He does not only rely on vision, but uses all five senses to paint. Thus, Lee Jinyong’s works must be viewed as if savoring tea or appreciating fragrance. When depending merely on vision or the difference between representation and abstraction, the viewer may only see a fragment of Lee’s works. As poems are fully experienced through reciting, and sincere prayers are made with one’s eyes closed, Lee’s works can be fully experienced once the audience views it through all five senses. “Hyung-sang-sayu” is seen through the mind, and is feeling the vibrations of all objects. Lee’s attitude towards objects and his work is alike, contributing full devotion to small and trivial things.
YUN Chea Gab l Director of HOW Art Museum
Excerpt from “About Small and Precious Things”