Lee Ufan

In this standout episode of “Meet The Artists,” presented by Nowness and Art Basel, we sent a nimble crew to the Kamakura home of 84-year-old master of modern art: Lee Ufan. The film, soundtracked by avant-garde composer Flora Yin-Wong, serves as a blueprint to understanding Lee Ufan’s ascetic minimalism and how his semi-centennial survey of materials has led to a uniquely philosophical approach to art. Featured across Nowness and Art Basel websites and social accounts, and archived on Nowness’ YouTube channel.

Few artists can convey infinity in a brushstroke or tease presence from the void. The source of Korean artist Lee Ufan’s creativity stems from childhood where he was raised with strict Confucian ideals and schooled in poetry and calligraphy. In the early Sixties, having moved to Japan to study philosophy at Nihon University, he emerged from a creative milieu as a leader in the Mono-ha (“School of Things”) movement; an aesthetic theory that rejected Western modern art. The movement also explored the properties of natural and industrial materials to show their dismay at the rampant industrialization of Japan.

Director: Dan Buyanovsky
DP: Mikul Eriksson
AC: Yuka Mashiro
Producer: Yuumi Aoyama
Translator: Kayla Dahee Kim
Music: Flora Yin Wong
Edit/Color: Victor Ivanov
EP: Mike Sunda
Production: PUSH Japan
Thanks: Katie Metcalfe, Jim Demuth, Jeanne-Salomé Rochat



Shanghai. Sydney. Oslo. Tokyo.