Lee Kun Yong was born in Sariwon, Hwanghae in 1942. He studied Painting at Hongik University.
Currently a honorary professor at Kunsan National University. Artist lives and works in Kunsan
Lee actively partook in ‘Space and Time (ST)’ and ‘Avant-Garde (AG)’ Groups, which based on his criticism towards the tendency of 1960’s art world, the emergence of new Western art forms and paradigms. Lee’s participations in Paris Biennale in 1973 and San Paulo Biennale in 1979 had gained him an acknowledgement as one of the key figures of 1970’s Korean art.
Lee's oeuvre starts from the fundamental question of ‘What is Art?’ Lee tries to find the essence of art and its existence through his perpetual experiments with ‘body’, ‘space’ where the works are being exhibited and the ‘relation’ between the works and the viewer. Thus his most studied subjects. In Lee’s works, coexistence of body and space carries the meaning of being.
Lee premiered his first performances Indoor Measurement and Equal-area at Baekrok Gallery’s 《Today’s Methodology》 in April of 1975. They were performances measuring the length and area of the space in a very deliberate and logical manner. Since then, Lee has been continuing on well calculated and logical performances rather than momentary accidental actions.
Lee’s works show the way of recording body’s trajectories and tracks. In Lee’s major work, The Method of Drawing series, artist stands at the back of a canvas and make drawings on a front, or move his arms just left to right to draw a heart shape using acrylic paints. The Method of Drawing series are the traces of his movements and trajectories, but not intentional works. Lee adopts a completely different method of drawing, which body becomes autonomous component of a work.
Along with the use of various medium in Lee’s oeuvre, drawings and performances distinctly share a close tie. His objects, installations, drawing, and performances are rather understandable as an extension of whole than each discrete works. Lee’s constant attempts are ever-evolving and developing, hence resulting in diverse oeuvre.
Lee’s works are featured in many premier institutions across the nation, which include National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Busan Museum of Art and Daegu Art Museum.