freelance graphic designer london Polly Playford – Lee Bul Hayward
This was probably my favourite exhibition I’d been to at the Hayward. I loved her use of materials, the textures and the reduced colour palette. The stories behind the works, all about North Korea where she grew up, were really engaging.
Lee Bul is an impressive character. She was a performance artists when she was in her 20s, walking around the streets wearing these odd ‘inside-out’ gut fat suits she’d made, just for the sake of it. Considering what North Korea would have been like in the 80s, that’s about as radical as you can get. Her parents were imprisoned for their left wing beliefs when she was a child and she had to live with her Grandmother. She was taking quite a risk.
I love her defiant rebellious streak. She had strung up a sad looking naked body on the ceiling (that you could see with the mirrors on the floor) that represented North Korea’s Dictator. Then there’s the fact most of the works are shiny, reflective and in some cases interactive. It was right up my street. You can tell by the fact my shoes matched the exhibition floor. It begs the question, is this great art independent of the influence of the dictatorship and suffering the artist had to endure or could it have happen without it? I’m guessing not.