SB D Gallery proudly invites you to this significant reflection of the era where we are at.
The project, “Pretty Dictators Vs. Pretty Leaders” by Ha Lee, delivers the artist’s own message with questions to audiences. As a former editorial cartoon illustrator, Ha Lee portraits these top political figures around the world in his own ‘pretty’ satire. The communication he pursues is more of the ‘historic episode’ than the propaganda. He tried to illustrate the imbalance and dissonance of ideologies. Ha Lee believes no human being is born as a dictator but only raised as one. In the end, all human beings are ‘pretty’ for who they are.
His artwork is a combination of digital and analog process. The image is first created digitally and then to be printed on canvas where he stuffs cotton below the canvas to hand saw. The project includes 9 top political figures and the final piece are 30×40 inch big and listed price is $12,000 per each piece which is negotiable.
– Muammar Gadhafi
– Barack Hussein Obama
– Osama Bin Laden
– Lee Myung Bak
– Kim Jong Il
– Hu Jintao
– Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
– Ben Shalom Bernanke
– Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak
Curated by Seolbin Park
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ARTIST STATEMENT/ HA LEE
I do not agree with the view that human beings are inherently violent and wicked. Humans are the most precious and beautiful beings in the universe and we are designed to live with peace and love. However, this world’s broken system makes people weak and sinful. Then, this society threatens us and we think we live in a hell. This broken yet adept system constantly deceives us. But in spite of its brainwashing, we remain strong and special creatures in this world. We were sent out to the world to love one another and to live for peace and freedom.
This world’s broken system inevitably makes people divided, isolated and hateful of each other. Thus, we do not like our neighbors, neighborhoods, neighbor countries, neighbor races, and neighbor religions. We have to make sure that no one gets in our way or has any intention to harm us. Because of this kind of anxiety, we buy guns ‘just in case’. Maybe my lovely neighbors bought guns for me in case I do something crazy. However, we do not need to be enemies with each other, because our real enemies are those who own power AND love to use it to only help themselves, not for bringing improvements to this broken society. They create divisions, conflicts, and disharmonies among us. Therefore, no matter who is elected, they just want power and control. It is simply a ‘power game.’
Social injustice happens because the oppressed people are poor, powerless, and frustrated. These struggles will be solved when we give hope, education and encouragement to one another. However, this evil system does not want that to happen. I personally hope that we forget what ‘hate’ means. Our nature does not actually like hating anyone or anything.
Our nature is against it, so we feel bad when we hate somebody or something. I hope everyone will open the doors of their hearts to each other. I truly look forward to seeing happiness come into this world again. Now, I am merely looking for when it might come, but I am sure that it will happen soon, fulfilling my wish.
Just as we joke about the dictators and political figures of the older generation, I am sure that in the future, we will talk about our current leaders in the same way. Thus, I tried to depict them as comical images. I drew each nation’s soldiers and powerful people on a computer and printed them on fabrics. I cut out the figures and sewed them onto canvas. I then stuffed them with cotton to give them a bulging look. I tried to express this world’s contradictions and brokenness by sewing digital pictures of social discord onto the canvas.