When did you realize that you were an artist?
I never thought I was an artist. Everyone who does his best is a true artist. I only love drawing and I think that’s what I’m supposed to do for the rest of my life and how I’m going to go.
What motivates you to create?
I was born during the Korean War. The whole country was horribly destroyed. Many people died and were injured and orphaned by the war, and families were separated, and the nation and most families were very poor and had a hard life. I lived in this difficult time environment. My work begins from what I have experienced, felt, and doubted. My journey began with questions about war and peace, love and hate, abundance and poverty, life and death, happiness and unhappiness and so on. I question existence from life and living to just about everything in the universe – including consciousness and matter. Then I try to find answers by comparing and contrasting religions and philosophies around the world; through analyzing and rebuilding what I have found. It was a transcendental existence that helped to guide virtue and life in its midst.
Tell us about a workflow quirk you’ve picked up over your artistic career?
I didn’t paint to make a career and I didn’t paint to sell.
To learn more, please visit Won-Il Lee’s ARTDEX Profile.