A crack in Time

Art exhibition overview

Lee Yun

Solo Exhibition: A crack in time

Place: Shangyuan Museum of contemporary art, Exhibition hall, Beijing, China 


Portal to a world behind the art works

A crack in time

A crack in time – review of an exhibition by Irina Ideas

Profound! Deeply human, quest for truth happened at a densely inspired realm of the exhibition hall standing at the foot of the mountain. Tao silently speaks every day to us, witnessing the impermanence of the world around, standing in solemn solitude of life, stubbornly keeping it’s mystery hidden, elusive, brooding and yet existing, Some call it Tao.

Lee Yun’s thematic idealism reflects this very notion of high integrity within and utter flexibility on the outside and in terms of understanding the world, just like Tao is indestructible and yet flexible and emphatic. This quality seems to be the core from which Lee Yun’s art builds and unravels, coming from an invisible compass rooted in the idea of Taoism, almost as mysterious as a mountain and at the same time encompassing the whole range of human emotions, to the point that it is fantastically personal, venturing into the archetypal myth of a thousand faces. One feels a strongly transformational nature of the trip taken to the mountains of Himalayas, appreciating every moment and a genuine smile encountered on the spectrum of many lives lived in the different shades of cultures, documented through photography and videos. This is a story of a nine skies and many sacred mountains both in physical reality but much more importantly the mountains as a symbolism of what we have to climb in order to progress in life, to overcome all the temptations and preserve the purity of the soul made in making the right choices.

At first we are presented with the frozen moments in time, as Lee Yun poetically identifies “A crack in time”, starting with photography, capturing the emotional spectrum from the utterly wounded souls, sometimes condemned to the world of silence, in the solitude of homelessness, observing the life from a distance. At the other end of the spectrum we go all the way to the expressions of utter joys with life in doing simple things, a taylor on the street, a moment looking into the mid distance, greeting a cow,… After all the ability to wonder, and happiness is within, it is a muscle we are given for or against life to be trained and the philosophical distance of Lee Yun’s photographs portrays this very message, the symmetry and asymmetry of life’s expressions illuminated by the wisdom, sometimes only known to the mystics.    

Lee Yun’s show transcended a form of an exhibition and ventured into the multidisciplinary sphere, where we have a glimpse into many worlds, many moments in time frozen with photography but defrosted with the narrative/video synchronized with the live performance that Lee Yun did himself for an hour long story telling, bathed in different shades of lights. Just like in his video/ photography , we could witness that Lee Yun was bathing in the wonders of life in search for the unexplainable.

Steps were made and there was no coming back, the journey of a thousand miles started with one crucial step, the ones towards the divine, the immaterial, that holds everything together, or maybe it is the other way around. Maybe the material world holds the immaterial together, a question so fundamental and primordial that we will probably never know, and that is how it should be because anything absolute and definite loses the touch with life and goes on the other side outside of the grasp of Tao and thus life or maybe time. Ancient centers of wisdom have been built on the shoulders of those who contemplated upon these topics, a densely symbolical interplay from the photography/video/life performance of Lee Yun, starts with the steps taken in the most humble atmosphere, very human and organic, observing a look of a child on the bus, or a woman in the hotel,.. Reflecting upon these topics of transformation and power of time and in particular highlighting Taosim as being one of those centers of wisdom.  

At one point we hear the exhilarated sounds of a crying and a laughing human, a strong emotion of pain that eventually, with the help of time evaporates into awe. A calcified memory that stays and no amount of technology can take it into it’s memory banks. This moment was brilliantly interlaced with the sounds of the flock of birds exploring the roofs, those celestial bodies (rooftops) of protection in Eastern Culture and Myth, often connected to a dragon or some other mythological creature, ornamental flowing towards the sides of the world, trying to make peace and collaboration with the nature and time, with awareness towards the building mechanism that leaves the footstep on the soil and plants. The stare though is always upwards, higher and further, towards the mountain of wisdom where the Tao is ruminated about in these words: “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be” Lao Tzu.   

bio intro

About Lee Yun

 1986-1989,Shaoyang University, Hunan province. Majored in Mathematics, then changed to literature department. 

1989-1990,Studied arts with prestigious sketch master professor Chen Xichuan.

1991, Beijing Dance Academy, studied ethnic and modern dance.

1992-1993, Capital Artist, Hong Kong, trained to be a singer.

1993-1996, Clifford Educational Centre, Singapore, studied English.

1997, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, studied art design.

1999, Worked as an assistant and translator for Peace prize winner, Australia war artist George Gittoes. Also an assistant for the program <Art sky> CCTV., and helped to make art documentaries for Australia ABC.

2000-2004, living in Australia, did a lot of live drawings and paintings reflecting social issues. Works were permanently displayed in Chapel by the sea, Bondi Beach. Oil paintings were collected by some charity organization, such as Mathew Talbot Center. Became a member of music band “Street Roses”, performed in many events after “911“, the terrorists’ attack in NY.

2005, Opened an ‘Music-English course’ in Beijing, practiced in several music schools to promote the understanding of western pop music.

2006-2008, Administrative work for overseas students in an educational consulting company, PRC-study.

2009-2013, Teaching mandarin for Ambassies, and English for Chinese students. Beijing Carl Duisberg Centre.

2014-2015, Directed the first movie “Breathing”, a work delving into the deep relationship between the environment and human being. In the same year, a solo concert “The son of Yangtze River ” was held in the music club “JIangjinjiu”.

2016. Directed the second movie “Heartthrob”, a work reflecting the lives of floating population in Beijing,

2017. Participated an international sculpture making event in Shandong province. The sculpture series “Echoes from past” were made from heavy rusty steel tubes, and the idea is to recycle the valuable industrial waste.

2018. Producing a documentary “Life beyond the clouds”, a story about the reclusive hermits living in Zhongnan mountain. Then on a journey to follow the traces of Taoism, from Zhoukou,  Heinan province, where Laozi was born, to Zhouzhi, Shanxi province, finally made way to Kunlun and Himalayans, Nepal and Indian. Made a documentary “A Crack In Time”, and slides show of the photographs that taken during the journey.

2019. Became a member of international art residency at Shangyuan Museum, Beijing. Mufti-media work “Wall series” participated the opening exhibition. And   performance art work “Virtual world”.



Art history


Exploring the world of Petar Lubarda, seeing through all the way to building block that the stone is

Exploring the world of Petar Lubarda, seeing through all the way to building block that the stone is

This is a story, a personal impression rather, of a great artist Petar Lubarda with his roots in Montenegro, with trunk in former Yugoslavia’s Belgrade and Paris and branches, leaves, fruits and flowers in the World. He reaches deep into the history and yet gives us something completely new, a way to look through the prism of the stone that becomes a bone that becomes a structure that becomes an architecture. An architecture of the cosmic journey that we all take on this planet becoming one with the stone that made us and at the same time we become appalled from time to time when we notice the glimpses of the core. We live in the world so dominated by the ruthless ruler called beauty that often times we live in the superficial layer that the underlying truth frightens us. We have learnt to ignore the depth to such a degree that we follow the footpath of positive psychology, from one landmark to another, to avoid abyss at any price, the abyss of the unknown that the subconscious mind knows.

Louise Bourgeois is crossing the boundaries of any of the definitions and exploring and emphasizing on the prevailing forces of the subconsciousness of the 20th century

Louise Bourgeois is crossing the boundaries of any of the definitions and exploring and emphasizing on the prevailing forces of the subconsciousness of the 20th century

Louise Bourgeois graced this planet with her presence spanning almost a century, during which she created a wide range of artistic pieces in different languages of materials and expression. She is one of the artists of 20th century who always came back to the psychology, self observation, getting back to the core, finding essence in the childhood memories and events.

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