Ufan
Lee

Ufan Lee, also known as Lee Ufan, is a pivotal figure in the minimalist art movement, shaping Japan’s Mono-ha with his focus on simplicity and the interaction of materials and perception. If you’re looking for original Lee Ufan prints and editions for sale or would like to sell, request a complimentary valuation and browse our network’s most in-demand works.

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Biography

Born in 1936 in South Korea, Ufan's pursued his education in Tokyo, Japan, where he was exposed to Western avant-garde movements that further shaped his development. Lee’s early works reflected his fascination with minimalism and simplicity, setting the foundation for his later contributions to the Mono-ha movement, which emphasised the relationship between natural materials and their spatial context.

Ufan's professional career flourished in the 1970s as he became a leading figure of Mono-ha. His art was known for its minimalistic aesthetics that communicated complex ideas through sparse, refined compositions. His international recognition grew with exhibitions across Europe, Asia, and North America, establishing him as a pioneer in conceptual art. Even in recent years, his art continues to evolve, with major retrospectives like the one at the Guggenheim Museum in 2011, reaffirming his ongoing influence in the art world.

Ufan's journey is marked by his commitment to a meditative exploration of space, materials, and perception. After gaining recognition for his role in Mono-ha, he extended his reach beyond this movement, incorporating his philosophy into large-scale installations and architecture. His collaboration with institutions such as the Benesse Art Site on Japan's Naoshima Island provided an ideal platform for his site-specific installations, which seamlessly blend nature and art. These installations echo his philosophy of finding harmony between natural and industrial elements.

Throughout his career, Lee has been recognised for his ability to transcend cultural barriers, bridging Eastern and Western art traditions with his minimalist approach. In addition to sculpture and painting, Lee explored other mediums, such as printmaking and ceramics, to further expand his visual language. His contribution to conceptual art is celebrated through numerous accolades, including the Praemium Imperiale prize for painting, which he received in 2001.


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