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2019-Einladung zur Angst-Ausstellung1-(c)Minjae Lee Kopie.jpg

Minjae LEE

In his expansive installations and performances, Minjae Lee (*1984) embarks on a captivating and sensitive search for a confrontation with fear. In the process, the artist places his own body in a field of tension between light and sound effects, which is heightened by the real presence of the viewers.  


His "You don't need to be afraid", in its stubborn repetition, written in chalk on the dark walls of a six-metre-long, windowless corridor, mutates from an affectionate attempt to appease to a threat. The oppressive narrowness of the corridor barely allows Minjae Lee to breathe as he moves sideways back and forth. As soon as a sentence is finished, it is blurred by the artist's subsequent movement along the wall. Like the performance "Narrowest Corridor", "Heartfelt Invitation to Fear" appeals to the visitors' confrontation with the fear that can grip any human being. At the same time, the fear Minjae Lee works with, which he tells about so poignantly, has long since turned from a once evolutionary protective mechanism into the socio-cultural context of the performance society.  


The spirals of thought visualised in the processual action stretch across walls and floors in various installations as oppressive mantras - coolly fluorescent and only recognisable under black light. Through the seemingly endless, ephemeral words, Minjae Lee's installations and performances visually recreate the oppressive feeling of fear in a spatial situation. All that remains of the performances are the artist's battered T-shirts, as textile witnesses to the Sisyphus labour. As a trace of the elusive fear, a white veil is finally pressed into the black cotton T-shirt. In the relics of the performances, the repetitive work of the artist materialises as the object-formed treading of a feeling that collectively weighs down society. As if trapped in his recurring trains of thought, the artist cannot free himself from the mental cycle – he cannot ‘write’ himself out of it. 


Minjae Lee also uses his breath for the fragmentary materialisation of fear. Tentatively, for "Before Fear is After Fear", he breathes each individual letter onto the prepared glass pane behind which he stands, while the visitor's face is directly confronted with the artist on the other side. Fear comes between the viewer and the artist for a moment when Minjae Lee gives it an ephemeral form through his deeply human gesture of breathing. 


The poignant encounter with such an indeterminate form of fear not only probes the artist's individual feeling, but also understands the feeling in the context of a social constitution that has become the conditio humana of the present. We are challenged to confront this fear and to fathom it together. 


  • 1984 born in Anyang, Gyeonggi-do / South Korea

  • lives and works in Munich

  • 2004-2010 Bachelor of Fine Arts, ChuGye University for the Arts, Seoul

  • 2015-2021 Studies of Sculpture, Academy of Fine Arts Munich with Prof. Gregor Schneider and Prof. Florian Pumhösl

  • 2021Diploma in Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts Munich, with Prof. Florian Pumhösl 


  • 2022 – Jury award PERSPECTIVES Young Art Award 2022, Kunstclub 13 e.V. 

  • 2021 – Prize of the Academy Association for the diploma 

  • 2021 – Edenkoben Scholarship of the Rhineland-Palatinate Foundation for Culture 

  • 2020 – STIBET Programme of the DAAD 

  • 2020 – Artist in Residence Scholarship Holder, KulturRING Demmin, T30 e.V., Hanstestadt Demmin 

  • 2020 – Max Ernst Scholarship, city of Brühl 

  • 2019 – Scholarship International Summer Academy Salzburg with Yorgos Sapountzis 

  • 2018 – Scholarships for foreign students from the Bayer. State Ministry for Education and Culture, Science and Art 

  • 2018 –  LfA Calendar, cultural funding "young art in Bavaria 2019" from the LfA 2018 –  Prize of the Akademieverein for the annual exhibition (class of Prof. Pumhösl), Akademie of Fine Arts Munich 

  • 2018 – Oskar-Karl-Forster-Stipendium-Fonds 

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