Lee Ufan’s installation in the Serpentine Gallery park


Lee Ufan’s work, in theory and practice, demonstrates mastery at crossing boundaries and initiating poetic dialogues between cultures, nature, material and space. A founding member of Mono-ha (“Object School”) Lee Ufan’s work meditates on gesture and nature, giving rise to new perceptions.

“Space means the infinite….Buddhism teaches that being is possible only because there is also nothingness, and appearance coexists with disappearance.” —Lee Ufan, 2011.

Installed outside the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens until 29 July 2018 is Relatum – Stage, an installation that merges the natural and industrial and reflects the surrounding environment of the Park.

Lee’s Relatum works highlight interspatial relations through the pairing of steel plates with large boulders. Between the two objects, Lee views the steel plates as the distant, factory-produced cousin of the stones. He sees the works as cultivating a space not only between objects but between viewers and the larger spatial environment. In choosing the title Relatum—referring to a singular aspect of relationship—Lee both rebukes the term sculpture and forgoes the more hermetic associations of the term relationship, conjuring a more philosophical and infinite type of connection engendered through the correspondence between rock and steel. The contrast between the manufactured steel plate and the natural rock bring together a new harmony between technology and nature.

Image: Lee Ufan, Relatum – Stage, 2018, Installation view, Serpentine Gallery, London (6 February – 29 July 2018) © Lee Ufan, Photograph © Ian Gavan/Getty Images