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Purchased 2002. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant
Porcelain is a key medium in Lee Bul’s early sculptural works, which often depict dissected, fragmented, detached and broken limbs. Through disengagement from the body, Lee attempts to transcend notions of flesh and decay to incorporate a desire for immortality symbolised by the cyborg. Working with the medium’s pure tones and lustrous appearance, the works suggest that technological progress – the machine, the microchip, the internet – has done little to erode traditional attitudes towards women in contemporary society. Contradictory and unresolved tensions within the broader gender politics of the female body as feminised, mechanised or broken, are transferred to these sculptures, which illustrate the current desire for perfection at any price.
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