Sooran Choi
The Avant-Garde Art of Seung-taek Lee

March 2, 7pm

We are excited to host the lecture “The Avant-Garde Art of Seung-taek Lee,” as part of Canal Projects’ current exhibition “Things Unstable.” This talk by Dr. Choi will discuss how the concept of the avant-garde functioned in the postwar period in South Korea, and the unique position that Seung-taek Lee occupies in the midst of competing languages of contemporary art. Art offered Lee and his contemporaries a space for respite, self-expression, and cultural intervention when it was politically unfavorable to do so. This earned Lee the scandalous title of “artist enfant terrible.”

The exhibition is Lee’s first institutional show in the United States and seeks to position him practice as a pioneer of eco-aesthetics. Commissioned essays by scholar Soyoon Ryu (available here) and Dr. Choi (forthcoming) contextualize Lee’s unique voice within and beyond the post-war Korean avant-garde art scene and global environmental movements.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Dr. Sooran Choi is a faculty at NYU and CUNY Brooklyn College and teaches art history, museum studies, and visual cultural studies courses from post-colonial, feminist, and racially equitable perspectives. She was awarded the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics Dissertation Fellowship from CUNY, the Emerging Scholar’s Fellowship from the College Art Association (CAA), and research grants from The Academy of Korean Studies. Her current research focuses on the intersection of the de-colonization of the avant-garde discourse, global feminism, and ecocriticism. Dr. Choi is currently working on a book manuscript titled Manifestations of a Zombie Avant-garde that examines post-WW II global artistic exchanges among interdisciplinary art groups in East Asia, the United States, and Europe, with case studies of South Korean renditions of various avant-garde art forms and discourses. She is also a recent recipient of the Black, Race, Ethnic Studies Initiative (BRESI) grant from the Mellon Foundation to launch a Cross-Ethno-Gender Korean/Asian Studies Initiative (CEGKASI) in the Art Department of Brooklyn College, the City University of New York, and will host a symposium titled Afro-Latinx-Queer-Korea-Asia in the Arts Symposium (ALGKAAS) that highlights an intersectional approach to Korean and Asian studies in April 2023.