Lee Ufan pens powerful response to the global pandemic

“The calamity of the new coronavirus has forced humanity to face a new horizon. Today, the world has laid bare globalism’s homogeneity and national egoism, as well as the reckless danger of individual laissez-faire attitudes. If we examine the basis of this mindset, we will confront the modern determination to construct and expand a hermetic interior without concern for the external. The spread of the virus has put a stop to this progression. The virus’ threat is at the same time an appeal to humanity to destroy civilization. Therefore, this fight against a non- human virus is nothing other than a fight to sublate the inner “human.” If one reflects on all this with remorse, the virus has given humanity the opportunity to rethink civilization. With the pandemic putting limits on human labor and movement, the spotlight has rapidly turned toward efforts taking place online and in the fields of AI and robotics. The concern is whether or not this will lead to the workforce diverging from humanity. We can only hope that overconfidence in the power of computers will not result in the ruinous folly of aiming for the unlimited production of desires in a way that circumvents the human workforce. We must awaken to the interrelationships of the living world by transcending individual will and state control and cultivating a dialogue between humanity and nature. The horror and hope we are experiencing with the spread of this virus and our fight against it carries a message—let us see whether or not humanity takes heed of it.” Lee Ufan, Written April 22, 2020, Translated by Ashley Rawlings. It is published in full on Pace Gallery’s website.