• 2018 1st AUO Artist
  • Lee Kiwon
  • Chungang Univ, Sculpture, 5th semester
  • Lee Kiwon is attending BFA course of Chung-Ang University. He keeps trying to make a device that produces something artistic. He is currently focusing on a meta approach to Traditional Formalist Art forms of Painting and Sculpture. He uses cinematic grammar scenarios to produce his works. He seems to have overall stress on controlled, categorized, repressed and refined art forms.

The Totem Phase

3D (Sculpture, Installa..

  • Media
  • Sculpture 1, Sculpture 2
  • Sculpture 3, Sculpture 4
  • Sculpture 5
  • Painting 1
  • Painting 2, Painting 3
  • Painting 4, Painting 5
  • Installation
  • Installation
  • cover_image.jpg


I prepare the Arena as I build the stage. I produce five weapons at the same time i recruit five actors.
Actors are faithful to their parts on stage and weapons review their validity.
Both actors and weapons faithfully perform the roles required by the director and the weaponsmith.
When the lights goes off, the actors ' roles are over.
Experimental subject for the validity of weapons are exhausted and the weapon tests are over.
After all, remnants remain inside of a six-meter-long rectangle surrounded by wire mesh.
The actors ' dynamic movements and rate of destruction of weapons traces are left vividly.
The rectangle isolate to piece.
The left trace are parasitic on the host of a broken rectangular fragment to support their existence.
They decide to latch on something stronger and more formal than itself to remain exposed.
What are actors and weapons going to be outside of a stage or Arena that has been disbanded and lost its role?
Their roles must have ended.
Broken down and cropped rectangle for the trace no longer exists for weapons and actors.
It exists only as a host for the parasite of the traces.
Everything ends and all roles are lost.
After ends of roles what can we define these?


The Totem Phase, 2017, 1024*768, 00:16:17


1. Monocycle Mace, 2017, Steel, 14*136*4 cm

2. Quixote Polearm, 2017, Steel, 40*175*22 cm

3. Schlumberger Sarissa, 2017, Steel, 136*8*15 cm

4. Zo Halbert, 2017, Steel, 33*123*9 cm

5. Anthocyanin Zargaframe, 2017, Steel, 26*64*18 cm


1. Parasitism Trace 1/19_Bank Robber, 2017, Acrylic on Panel, 42*59.4 cm

2. Parasitism Trace 1/38_Mantis, 2017, Acrylic on Panel, 42*59.4 cm

3. Parasitism Trace 1/38_Rotten Mango, 2017, Acrylic on Panel, 42*59.4 cm

4. Parasitism Trace 1/38_Blue Flame, 2017, Acrylic on Panel, 42*59.4 cm

5. Parasitism Trace 1/38_Mass Stranding, 2017, Acrylic on Panel, 42*59.4 cm


Parasitism Trace, 2017, Steel, Dimensions Variable
Park Jina, Artist
When I first saw ‘The Totem Phase’ as an image of sculptural work, I became curious about the context of this sculpture’s aesthetical form such as geometrical shapes which reminds me of primitive tools, expressive colors, and scattered paint stains on the surface. After watching the video and reading the statement, I realized stage settings and props, and traces of performance were suggested as the work of sculpture and painting. I find it very interesting that the direct result of performer's(probably the artist himself) action is recomposed as an artwork. It is also interesting that an act of destruction immediately creates artworks during the performance. In this series of work that seems like an expanded version of ‘action painting’, Lee Giwon tries to handle many genres of art like performance, painting, sculpture, installation and hold them together into a single work. The paint stains – a combination of colors and shapes scattered and made by an aggressive act of poking and cutting paint containers(lacquer sprays) - on the surface of sculpture and painting that are the final result of this project are completely relying on accidental traces, however the core of this work is that all the process before the result, including stage settings, the material selection, the plot of the performance, colors of paints, and moreover the thickness of paints, have been executed under extensive planning and control. This work seems to divide and show effectively the very two key elements that follow in most of the process of creating artworks: an artist’s plan and the chance element which breaks from the plan.

As I mentioned above Lee Giwon embraces performance, painting, sculpture, installation and etc, but ultimately, he seems to focus the most on sculpture. The sculptural use of metal generally stands out. Even in the work where he present it as a painting, the metal plate (probably used as a stage floor) remind me of some flat sculpture works since metal is not a material so commonly understood as support for painting. In the video I could see the clothes and the mask the actor is wearing, spectacularly shows the direct marks of exploding paint, but the artist choose not to present them as artworks. It is probably because they are not made of hard metal.

Among the artworks shown in different media like painting, sculpture and video, I find the performance in the video is most weak, and suggest the artist to plan the performer’s moves and the rhythm of performance to be more precise. From watching the video, I get the impression that there is no more detailed plan in the plot for the performance than “to blow all the hanging containers with the pre-made weapons.” As the result, it didn’t become as a focused performance (or video) despite of many interesting elements like performer’s struggling gestures and physical strengths. I am not sure if it is the artist’s intention, but it seemed to me that the containers poked and cut one by one with caution in the first half of the performance are attacked in several at the same time toward the end as if the artist spontaneously hurried to end it. How would it be if there was a more detailed condition for the actor, such as, for example, ‘to repeat an act of destroying paint containers one by one with constant rhythms and precise moves’? I can imagine an impressive performance as the physical exhaustion of the performer get more obvious as it get closer to the end. It could be seen as a metaphor of Sisyphus in the myth. I have one additional question here. Performances by five different actors as mentioned in the artist statement could be a plan for the future? In the uploaded video, one performer is using all five weapons. If it is something that the artist pursues in the future, I would suggest him to take more detailed study on directing roles to each actor and the movements using tools. I believe that a bit of extra preciseness would make big difference in the performance execution level.

(translated from Korean by AOU translator)

‘The Totem Phase’를 조각작품의 이미지로 처음 접했을 때 원시 도구를 연상시키는 기하학적 형태와 다채로운 색, 흩뿌려진 듯한 물감 자국 등 이 조형물이 가진 미학적 형식의 맥락이 무엇인지 궁금해졌습니다. 영상과 스테이트먼트를 보고 공연을 위한 무대장치 및 소품과 퍼포먼스의 흔적을 조각과 회화작품으로 제시하고 있다는 것을 알았고, 공연 중 배우(아마도 작가 자신) 액팅/행동의 직접적 결과물을 작품으로 재구성한다는 점이 매우 흥미로웠습니다. 파괴 행위로 작품을 생산한다는 설정도 흥미롭고요. 액션페인팅의 확장판처럼 보이는 이 일련의 작품에서 이기원씨는 퍼포먼스와 회화, 조각, 설치 등 미술의 여러 장르를 두루 다루고 하나의 작품으로 묶는 시도를 하고 있는 것 같습니다. 프로젝트의 최종결과물인 조각이나 회화작품의 표면에 발려진 물감자국이 완전히 우연성에 기대고 있으면서도 -물감통(락커스프레이)을 찌르고 자르는 과격한 행동에 의해 튀어 만들어진 형태와 색채의 조합- 사실 그 이전의 과정은 무대장치의 디자인과 재료선택, 퍼포먼스의 플롯, 물감의 색상에서부터 디테일하게는 물감의 점성에 이르기 까지 상당한 계획과 통제 하에 이루어 졌다는 것이 작품의 핵심으로 보입니다. 이 작품이 예술의 창작과정에 항상 수반하는 작가의 계획과 또 이를 벗어나는 우연성의 수용이라는 두 요소를 양분하여 상당히 효과적으로 대립해 보여주고 있다 생각합니다.

앞서 언급했듯 이기원씨는 퍼포먼스, 회화, 조각, 설치 등등을 두루 아우르고 있으나 결과적으로 조각에 가장 중점을 두고 있는 것 같습니다. 전반적으로 금속재료의 조각적 사용이 두드러지게 보입니다. 회화로 제시하고 있는 작품의 경우에도 지지대로 사용한 금속판(아마도 무대의 바닥이었을)이 일반적으로 회화의 지지대로 인식되는 재료는 아니니까요. 퍼포먼스 영상을 보면 배우가 착용하고 있는 보호장구인 의복과 마스크 등도 물감통을 터트리는 행위의 흔적을 아주 직접적이고 스펙타클하게 드러내는데 이를 작품으로 보여주지 않았던 것은 단단한 금속재료가 아니어서 였을까요?

이기원씨가 회화, 조각, 영상 등 여러 매체로 보여주고 있는 작품 중 저는 영상작품 속 퍼포먼스가 좀 아쉬웠고 퍼포머의 동작과 퍼포먼스의 리듬을 정교하게 만들 것을 제안합니다. 영상을 보며 퍼포먼스의 플롯에 ‘걸어놓은 물감통을 만들어 놓은 무기를 사용하여 모두 터트린다’ 이상의 구체적인 계획은 없지 않았을까 하는 인상을 받았습니다. 그래서 퍼포머의 동작이 크고 신체의 힘도 많이 쓰이고 여러 가지 흥미로운 요소가 많음에도 불구하고 그리 집중력 있는 공연(혹은 영상)이 되지는 못한 것 같습니다. 작가의 의도인지 퍼포먼스 전반에 하나씩 주의 깊게 터트리던 물감통을 후반에 여러 개 한꺼번에 바닥에 놓고 터트리는데 저에게는 어느 순간 그만하고 싶어서 서둘러 마무리하는 것으로 보였습니다. 예를 들어, ‘일정한 속도를 유지하려고 노력하며 정확한 동작으로 물감통을 하나씩 파괴하는 행위를 반복한다’ 식의 약간 더 구체적인 조건이 추가되었으면 어땠을까요. 아마 시간이 지날수록 육체의 힘겨움이 생생히 전달되면서 꽤 강렬한 퍼포먼스가 될 수도 있었을 것 같습니다. 시지프스 신화의 은유처럼도 보일 것 같군요. 여기에서 질문이 하나 있습니다. 스테이트먼트에서 언급한 다섯 명의 배우에 의한 퍼포먼스는 앞으로 진행할 계획인 것인가요? 현재 올리신 영상으로는 한 명의 퍼포머가 다섯 개의 무기를 모두 사용하고 있네요. 만약 앞으로 진행할 계획이라면 각 배우에게 부여할 역할의 디렉팅과 도구를 사용하는 움직임에 대한 연구를 좀 더 구체적으로 하시길 권합니다. 약간의 정교함이 더해져도 퍼포먼스의 완성도에 있어서 큰 차이를 만들 수 있으리라 예상합니다.
Elaine W. Ng, Editor & Publisher, ArtAsiaPacific
Confidential Advice.
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