Untitled (cyborg leg)

Lee Bul South Korean

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 233

A leading contemporary artist, Lee Bul has explored issues of gender, inequality, oppression, and technology since the 1980s through her varied artistic practice. This porcelain from her 2000 Cyborg series is characterized by human-size but fractured forms with curvaceous shapes, long nails, and breast-like elements that suggest a feminine gender. Like most of her work, the project juxtaposes concepts in tension—human and machine, paragon and monster, beautiful and grotesque, utopia and dystopia. By using porcelain, Lee connects the past and present, old and new technologies. As these parts are similar in size to Joseon porcelain vessels like those on view here, Lee also illustrates how objectification, particularly of Asian women, extends to the decorative arts, which have long fostered exoticization and fetishization through Western styles such as Chinoiserie and Japonisme.

Untitled (cyborg leg), Lee Bul (South Korean, born 1964), Porcelain, Korea

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