Yesterday Meg suggested a piece in the New York Times describing the new art installation at the Palace of Versailles which we visited in 2007. The artist whose work is now at Versailles is Lee Ufan. The works are simple and elemental and intriguing. The text of the article mentions that Ufan, who is from Korea, is a member of a relatively short-lived (1968 - 1973) art movement called Mono-ha. This article at Art in America described a few of the basics of this movement to me and these words resonated.
Their work was stridently anti-modernist-primarily sculptures and installations that incorporated basic materials such as rocks, sand, wood, cotton, glass and metal, often in simple arrangements with minimal artistic intervention. More experiential than visual, Mono-ha works tended to demand patience and reflection.
That last point makes a lot of sense. When I see an image like the one below entitled Relatum - Silence, I feel a wave of simplicity and peace wash over me - but I'm sure that being in the presence of such a work would be vastly more impactful.
I found all of this pretty interesting. I have no background in art so this is all a brand new landscape for me. The elemental nature of these works resonates as I'm confronted by the complexity of life today. It reminds me (again) that I have succumbed to a consumer mentality and that is why my basement and garage are full of things that I neither use or need. This extra weight - like the extra weight around my midsection - slow me down and keep me from the elemental activities that bring meaning, purpose and joy to life.
I'm anxious to dig deeper into Lee Ufan's works and those of related artists. Maybe it will inspire me to clean out the garage...