Fi Jae Lee

The Whole World on My Body

How much and what appearance of ‘I’, and how is the act of making art embodied in my work? Do my eyes open only towards the outside, and does my artwork exist separately from me? How is the artist embodied in the artwork? How far is the distance between the artwork and the artist? Then, how much can be inferred about the artist by the viewer seeing the work? If the concept of the artist is the artist, what is the viewer looking at? Are they only looking at ‘reason’ and ‘function’? How much can be communicated through the act of ‘looking’? If the artist has to explain the artist’s self - who is immersed within the artwork - what can the artist say? Is the artist only a person, who looks at the outside and criticizes the world’s problems, finding alibis for its existence? These questions are the topics of these works.
I tried to find the answer in the part and the whole, the whole within the part. An artwork of mine is the whole of a mass like my body; however, each of the parts has completion and richness as a whole if you are looking at the each part. Even though my artwork is a work, it is several hundreds of artworks as parts. It would seem that the painting’s essential duty is searching for visualization of the invisible as manifested through sculpture. Even though I am a place as a whole - as a visible body - there are complicated times, events, figures, relations, and social structures that are inscribed in my body. I construct the body of such a space. Even though I am a body, several thousands of bodies - which I am not - are parasitic on my body. They became my emotions, sense, and reason. I let them - right before they turn into me - be involved with the place, which is my body. Each of them is a place and the present, the same as me. Each one is a whole.
By exposing 'the reversion of invisible things', in recognizing the essence hidden under my face - which is myself - I combine, juxtapose, and sculpt 'them' - the phenomenon of myself -, within a sculpture. By doing so I create complex and multi-layered phenomenon, which is my body, and the double structure between 'myself' and 'them.’
Feeling, listening, and seeing are acts of embracing others in my body. They come to me and become a sense. Each one was an independent subject like me before and after they become a sense to me, even in the present time. They have materiality and subjectivity. However, they become feeling, emotion, and thought as they come and clash within me. Like in Kim Chun-su’s poetry ‘Flower’, before I call your name, you were nothing but a bodily gesture. But when I call your name, you become a flower. By becoming a flower, you made me feel 'myself' and then ultimately allowed me to recognize myself. I visualize things in order to respect the materiality and subjectivity of their state prior to coming to me and becoming feeling, thought, and emotion. They are parts and the whole of my sculpture. I meet, conflict, break up, and love things on the street, in the house, in memory and light. My body constructs me within the activities I have performed. I was able to transform this object, which is admitted as an objective body, to the subjective body through others in the sunlight. I become a subjective body through the crucial incidents of clashes with others, not through my own deeds and activities. I ultimately attained my subjectivity by attaching others onto my body. Through others, I became a body that senses myself. In other words, I cannot be ‘myself’ without other things around me.
A body appears as a visible thing in the exhibition space on this street during the daytime, but when it becomes night and lights are off the invisible realm that has been neglected in the darkness emerges and is transformed to a subjective body. Body is an appearance of everything in the externally visualized world, and it becomes the invisible place where the ‘different’ life rises, which previously cannot be seen. I let time be vitalized, which internalizes the meeting and clash with ‘others’ - this is an operation of the invisible area in which I live. In time, my body as an object placed in front of me causes a reversion back to an invisible thing. In the action of reversion, the project in which a visible thing becomes invisible and the invisible thing becomes visible and operates. The whole world of my body and of face captured in this action becomes spread out.
My works in this exhibition are not the artist’s own perspective turning back from outside to inside. This is the artwork that explores how ‘I’, the creator, embodies the outside world through the sensitivity, senses, and emotion of oneself and how far an external subjectivity and materiality are independent before the outside becomes the content of my internal life. Within this, my otherness, which becomes my memory by constantly connecting with others and creating presence, is created as a figure in the same way. Like writing a diary, I come outside, contact and clash between self and the outside. This becomes visualized through the act of labor, and kneading by hand. I tried to make it possess the most closed color and materiality of the human body. While working with this project, I tried to look at how the body which is in the process of pathos and deformity is created through encountering the body of others in the process of embodiment - not as the biological meaning of body -, the body of materiality, and the respondent considering my outside. By doing so my work can be called the phenomenology of my body, which subverts other, the outside before becoming inside. Therefore, even though my entire works can be seen as one work, I try to make parts of works divided into each work and hundreds of artworks.