Posted on: Saturday, October 9, 2021

LEE UFAN AT THE DOMAINE DES ETANGS 

The relationship between the works of the artist Lee Ufan and the Domaine des Etangs dates back to the early days of the hotel as we know it today, since it was restored in 2015. The artist's work has been on show there on several occasions, both during exhibitions in the Art space La Laiterie and in the hotel rooms. His pieces, that invite viewers to observe the very existence of what lies in front of us, echo the Art of Life that is showcased at the Domaine des Etangs. As a result, we felt compelled to offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy Lee Ufan's art on a permanent basis, in the heart of Nature where it can fully express itself.

Including a work by Lee Ufan was an obvious choice for the sculpture park of the Domaine des Etangs. Like the site, the Korean artist's sculptures invite us to pause, to meditate and to reconnect with our environment. Lee Ufan created Relatum - The Shadow of the Stars for the gardens of the Château de Versailles, and Garance Primat then acquired it for the Domaine des Etangs. The choice of this piece came naturally to the estate, which houses six farmhouse cottages named after constellations. Lee Ufan's stars, descended from the Sky to tell us their story, are perfectly attuned to the world of the Domaine des Etangs.

With this work, the artist opens up a new dimension onto nature and space. These pieces are not merely to be looked at, but are "an invitation to experience an emotional engagement with the immediate environment and to savour the resulting moment." The visitors are confronted with a work that forces them to look at what is happening, to understand the light that surrounds them thanks to the double shadows: those painted by the artist and those cast by the sun. The work comes to life thanks to this star and its shadows that animate it. The stone, majestic, solid and silent, activates the space around it through the projected shadow.

Although the work interacts with the sun, Lee Ufan's sculptures also highlight the relationship between action and non-action. The stone symbolizes Nature and non-action. Lee Ufan describes it as follows: "Natural stones usually contain an expanse of time comparable to the earth’s course of life. Science can analyse these lumps of time, which transcend our imaginations, yet they remain mysterious and opaque entities. They are solemn objects, but also things that suggest a world beyond objecthood.” The iron plate, on the other hand, is the symbol of our industrialised society and the inflated productivity of the contemporary world. "I want to relate nature to industrialism by creating encounters between stones and steel.”

It is therefore our relationship with the contemporary world and our lifestyles that Lee Ufan questions. He invites us to bring to light what we no longer see, to feel "the wonderful aspect of the surrounding space or of the World that we did not know". His piece, Relatum - The Shadow of the Stars, is conducive to silence and offers visitors a space to meditate and reflect in the heart of the Domaine des Etangs.