'Fusion World of Asian Images, European Thinking¡¯
Isaac Lee holds his European exhibition tour
Isaac Lee, an industrial design professor at Doowon Technical College, strives to pursue the so-called fusion style of combining Asia¡¯s traditional images and Europe¡¯s modern design manufacturing methods.
His design world originates from his long-standing exchanges with leading European designers. He recently held an invitational design exhibition at the Forchheim Artodrome Gallery in Vogelstrasse, the first leg of his exhibition tour that travelled further to Milan. His exhibits included Korean-style trays, an extraordinary tissue box that looks like the outpouring of lava and refined tableware.
¡°Starting with the work of wood showing off proportional, harmonious and balanced beauty, Isaac Lee is a learned industrial designer,¡± Lee quoted gallery owner Stephan Kunkler as saying. ¡°The individual form and the temperature of wood have always appealed to him,¡± Kunkler said.
Lee said in a recent interview that he employs in his work walnut, ash, teak and zebra wood. His work gives viewers the impression that the feast of wood grain may bring about emotional stability, comfort and aesthetic charm like ¡°hearing the sounds of Mother Nature.¡±
¡°Lee¡¯s works are not only exciting because of their aesthetic form, but because they can be also practically used,¡± Kunkler was quoted as saying. His works, like the sophisticatedly made jewel box and cosmetics case take a peek into ¡°his artistic world of grand simplicity and greatest refinement.¡± This work smells of a nice olive oil, said Lee, adding that Skantreuf Mayor Maria Wagner happened to open the cosmetics case unwittingly.
¡°My work is made of natural things, not chemical substances,¡± Lee said.
LED lamps jointly produced by Lee are waterproof and they have Vollo and Bordo models, he said. Lee has a branch office in Italy and he has been exchanging with leading Italian designers on Italy¡¯s culture, business and art worlds.
Regarding Korean design, Lee said part of the Korean culture was destroyed by the Korean War, but it is now being restored. Since the logging of old trees is banned, forests are still growing, but wood is in short supply. Many historians, artists and architects have reinstated Korean culture with the help of the Korean government.
As to Western culture, he said, Florence, Italy, is a famous city where Leonardo da Vinci did much of his work and became the birthplace of commercial art in the early 17th and 18th centuries.
¡°For instance, France focuses on both technology and design, while Korea tends to focus on only technology. But not only technology, but design is also now important,¡± he said.
Lee has been with the Seoul Metropolitan Government¡¯s GOOD DESIGN screening committee, the steel furniture contest screening committee and the good procurement examination committee.
Lee¡¯s work enchants beholders with its comfort and charm ¡ª Bordo, Volo and Orizzon ¡ª are patented in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan. nw
Industrial designer and Prof. Isaac Lee (left). His work reflect a ¡°fusion world of Asian images and European thinking.¡± Shown above are ¡°Gate Seoul¡± (far below) and ¡°Oval Sense¡± (right)