13 July 2017 News

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Dia Art Foundation announced it will expand its focus to Asian Art, acquiring key works by Lee Ufan. Ufan is considered a key member and vocal proponent of the Mono-ha movement that emerged in Japan in the 1960s.

According to Dia, these acquisitions will introduce the materials and techniques of Mono-ha into Dia’s permanent collection. Mono-ha’s emphasis on natural and man-made materials aligns with the interests of Arte Povera, Land art, and Minimalist art, which are movements that form the foundation of Dia’s collection.

The three works by Lee that are entering Dia’s collection encourage viewers to focus on the empathetic presence of materials. Relatum (formerly System, 1969), one of Lee’s earliest Mono-ha sculptures, is composed of six steel plates that are bent at ninety-degree angles. In this case, the artist believes that the arrangement of steel can result in many different effects for viewers, defying the perception that steel is an inorganic or lifeless object. Whereas Relatum (formerly Language, 1971) juxtaposes two diametrically opposite materials, pairing seven thick soft cushions with large boulders. In Relatum (1974), a long wooden beam hangs from the ceiling by a rope. This arrangement captures the interconnectedness of varied materials, evoking a defining principle of Mono-ha.

Dia will present these works at Dia:Beacon in spring 2018.