menu 1
menu 2
menu 3
menu 4
menu 5


Sang Yong Lee
The Flight

August 17 ~ September 3, 2009
Opening Reception 8/21 (Fri.) 6~8 pm


Sang Yong Lee was born in a small village surrounded by the sublime Kye Ryong Mountain Range in Gong-ju, S. Korea that impacted his monumental style. Growing up with these mountains in sight affected him to produce simple yet powerful works that speak to nature while epitomizing the directness associated with Koreans. As early as nine years old, Lee remembers being an unusual kid. He was already making sculptures out of soap bars, or from tree logs. He even collected all sorts of disposed materials, or trash and constructing them into beautiful assemblages. Thus, his whole house was an exhibition site containing the strange accumulation of his development as an artist and the manifestations of his dream.

As a youngster he had faced with losing his parent to illness as well as his support, consequently he couldn’t attain an academic art education. However, because he did not fettered by the pre-conceptions of an academy, he became an even stronger artist who followed his instinctual proclivities to become the powerful artist he is today. His imagination allowed roaming free and his expression brooked no restrictions during his period of experimentation. For example, he transformed three pronged spears into bird wings that took flight or turned such a prosaic tool as a hammer into a goat. Even he didn’t hesitate to cut in half the white porcelain from ‘Joseon Dynasty’ and put on tray for a fascinating works. Also many of his drawings are on ancient kitchen doors or back side of an ink stones like an antiques from Joseon and China.

As a contemporary artist, Lee possesses a fascinating ability to change freely any object or material into imaginative and powerful artworks. Lee has undergone a development that included Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Abstract, and Pop art styles. Lee has arrived to his mature style after having passed through the constructivist aesthetic of Schwitters combined with the Dada assemblage of Arp. Lee has been living in New York since 2008, and has enjoyed many international exhibitions but this is his first one person show in New York.

For More Information: Please contact the Exhibitions Director Dr. Thalia Vrachopoulos at 212-691-7978 or, or Associate curator Suechung Koh at 201-724-7077 or, or the Tenri Administrative Director Michael Yuge at 212-645-2800, or


Like us on Facebook!

Join our: *Music, Workshops & Events mailing list and/or *Fine Arts mailing list

Tenri Cultural Institute    School of Japanese Language    Gallery    Performing Arts    Tenrikyo Church    Home