Lee Ufan - What Now?: Online Auction Hong Kong Thursday, February 2, 2023 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • “Through endless practice, my painting has come to embody the presence of infinity and spiritual energy in full bloom. Upon the encounter among the painting, the space, and the beholder, awaits a revelation to an exciting universe that pulsates with wonders of life.”

    —— Lee Ufan

    Korean artist Lee Ufan is considered a founding member of Mono-ha (School of Things) movement in Japan and Korea in the late 1960s. As opposed to the traditional ideas and Western notions of representation that focused on expression or intervention, the philosophy behind Mono-ha was highly influenced by Japanese Buddhist concept, which focuses on the presentation of the original state of the material, depicting the world ‘as is’. The Korean master expresses the essence of life, including its beginning and end, and its aura and energy, with his minimalist paintings of points and lines.


    Executed in 2010, Untitled is a part of Lee’s iconic Dialogue series, and a prime example of the artist’s later works that bring to life his unique philosophical views: the relationship and harmony between the touched and untouched space, which is demonstrated with a minimalist whisper of stroke moving across a snow-white plate, leaving a space of complete silence and emptiness for the viewer linger on. A single stroke of umber red is painted vertically at the centre of the dish, starting with a strong and assured gesture that ends with an effortless lifting of the brush as the movement perceived within by the artist comes to an end. The gradation of the colour develops as the brush progresses on the surface, with the contrast of light and dark juxtaposed between the left and right sides of the same stroke, alluding to the diversity resulting from organic development of a single unit. The present lot is at once quieting and contemplative, reminding the spirit of the traditional Korean and Japanese practice of tea ‘Sadō’ and flower ‘Kadō’ ceremony which embraces the harmony and connection between human, nature, and space.



    Installation shot of Dialogue series at Aix-en-Provence, Jean-Michel Wilmotte gallery at Château La Coste, Lee Ufan, 29 May - 24 September 2016 


    An artist, philosopher and poet, Lee Ufan has been honoured with numerous solo exhibitions and major retrospectives at distinguished public museums around the globe, including the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul (1994), the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007) and the Guggenheim Museum in New York (2011). Lee has also written and published 17 literatures and essays on philosophy, contemporary and Asian art and culture and modern democracy.


    In 2010 the Lee Ufan Museum designed by Tadao Ando opened in Naoshima, Japan. His exhibition centre at the Hôtel Vernon in Arles, a seventeenth-century building located near the city's Roman arena, remodelled by his friend the architect Tadao Ando, opened on 5 April 2022.

    • Provenance

      Seoul Auction, Seoul, 26 June 2020, lot 47
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner



signed with the artist initial 'L.uF'10' lower centre
underglazed ceramics
diameter 33.5 cm. (13 1/4 in.)
frame 48 x 48 cm. (18 7/8 x 18 7/8 in.)

Executed in 2010.

Full Cataloguing

HK$150,000 - 200,000 

Contact Specialist

Hin Hin Wong

Associate Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Hong Kong

+852 2318 2013


What Now?: Online Auction

Online Auction 2 - 9 February 2023