lee sun don

Art: the field of subtraction 

Lee Sun-Don is a talented painter born in Taiwan, a creative writer, a classical music composer, a self-taught pianist and an advanced chess player. He is a man and an all-round artist, who practices mind-awakening aesthetics through an artistic approach that aims to develop the viewer’s spiritual enlightenment and massage the atrophied muscle of collective contemplation, thus delivering society from a merely spectacular concept of beauty. His art reminds us of the inspirations revealed in the works of Balla, Kandinskij, Klee, Arp, Mirò and Matisse. The main constant of Lee Sun-Don’s painting is his twodimensional space arrangement that inhibits prospective depth while subtracting material thickness. His two-dimensional space transfers painting to a state of pure visibility, a specific and selfevident condition governed by rules based on optical perception alone, without any illusive depth or reference outside the image. Lee Sun-Don reproduces this mobile concept of field by abolishing spatial depth and pushing his language to the proliferating condition of an organic state where signs are tied, untied and freed from any form of paralysing geometry. Nearness and distance, foreground and background no longer exist: there is only total simultaneous interpenetration. The goal is achieved by introducing a colour, black, that enables the space to appear according to the characters of uniformity. Subtracting also means memorising and accumulating the idea of a thickness subtracted from the surface. Painting necessarily has the character of a resplendent superficial nature, which does not mean superficiality, but rather the acceptance of the specific and structural nature of painting that, historically and laically, tends to overcome prospective illusionism. The Eastern culture that animates Sun-Don’s sign enables the image to convey a sense of life and, at the same time, the idea of a concrete measure. The whole composition is supported by a sort of abstract-concrete substance that is never metaphoric, but is always sustained by its inherent autonomy. In conclusion, the work of Lee Sun-Don creates its own original and distinctive style through the combination of several philosophies in a language that escapes its formal order. Form is the threshold through which imagination declines its attitudes. In his case, painting is the tool that directs a linguistic universe not according a freezing project, but rather according to a bias for taking away, a subtle discipline based on the subtraction of certainty to the benefit of a rigorously structured probability. 

Text by Achille Bonito Oliva