To celebrate its 15th anniversary since opening, the National Art Center Tokyo is hosting the largest Lee Ufan retrospective that has ever been exhibited in Tokyo. The Korean artist, who spent many years teaching, studying and developing his craft in Japan over the course of his career, is celebrated the world over for his minimalist works that are often made with natural materials like stone and wood.
Ufan’s philosophical approach to art stems from a movement called Mono-ha, meaning ‘school of things’, which he founded together with a group of Japanese artists in the late 1960s. Ufan felt that the world had been so heavily industrialised by that point that he felt no desire to create artificial objects with manmade materials.
Instead, he made the deliberate choice of using natural resources and doing as little as possible to manipulate their original forms. In this extensive exhibition, viewers can look back on Ufan’s early works and trace his evolution to recent installations while contemplating the artist's simple yet powerful philosophy.