Centre d’Art invites you for an Exhibition of Ok Jeong Lee on 30 Nov 2019.


Opening 30 Nov at 4.00pm – To 7.00pm at Centre d’Art, Citadine, Auroville.


Exhibition from 30 Nov to 14 Dec 2.00 to 5.00pm – Centre d’Art, Citadine, Auroville.


Please park your vehicle at town hall parking.


Journey of Sustainability                

Ok Jeong Lee


The term ‘Upcycling’, applied to art, dates back to the mid-90s. It means that the value of an object recuperated by the artist is greater than that of the object before it gets transformed (transformation that does not chemically modify the materials). Upgraded from waste material to a unique artwork, from post-consumer waste to a raw material shaped by a creative mind, the object undergoes a metamorphosis and acquires a new life, a new nobility, a new meaning.
Actually, the Upcycling Art was born in an anonymous form at the beginning of the 20th century, with the birth of the consumer society. Together with the latter, it unfolded into a poisonous symbiosis, like a shadow following all its movements, and we never really understand if it’s an accomplice, a symptom, or a judgement of such society. For it is the role of art and its paradox to tell its own version of the facts, and to deny them when we are told that everything works just fine. It is no coincidence that one of the most significant movements ante litteram of  the Upcycling Art, the Arte Povera (the rustic art born in Italy in the ‘60s), stems from the an arrogant wealth spreading in the post-war period. The artists expressing this art movement make use of natural or recycled materials. According to Pistoletto, one of its main representatives, Arte Povera is “a posture opposed to the futuristic fervor and the consumerist clamor, insofar as it emphasizes the saturation of a growth ideal that has reached its maximum”.
The act of creation applied to waste is both a denunciation and a search for transcendence.
Ok Jeong Lee uses these waste materials upstream out of necessity, for they are abundantly available, and restores them downstream in the form of magnificent creatures whose beauty evokes the danger. Her work is a wake-up call, as well as an invitation to project our consciousness onto ways to accomplish the future, based on new parameters.
Starting from magnetic tapes, compact discs, plastic packaging, she materializes before our eyes a world of spells, of zoomorphic and phytomorphic organisms suspended in an aquatic atmosphere.
As if we were walking on the bottom of the ocean, semi submerged shapes fluctuate from the surface above our heads.
The roots of an invisible tree cling to the molecules of air surrounding drifting jellyfish banks, which emanate light from their electric bodies.
In the wake of jellyfish do spin laser fish, swimming tangentially to their trajectories.
Lightning bolts and shadows revolve through the magic lantern of Ok Jeong Lee.
And in this aquarium of synthesis, of which we are the temporary and enchanted hosts, we follow eyes on the wall of the halos forgetting the shadows behind the glass, believing for a moment that maybe, finally, we too have gills, that it is only some light that we are inhaling, not poisoned air.
But if artists are right, if really, as they say, they are visionaries capable of creating worlds, then out there, somewhere beyond the wall that we call reality, a new way of breathing is already possible.


Dominique Jacques, November2019