The stuff of dreams of Lee Young-hee. Seoul-Paris

From 4 December 2019 to 9 March 2020 the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts presents The stuff of dreams of Lee Young-hee. Seoul-Paris.

Thanks to an exceptional textile donation, MNAAG becomes the recipient of the world's largest collection of Korean textiles outside of Korea.

Consecrated by his country as the greatest figure of Korean fashion, Lee Young-hee (1936-2018) has propelled on the international scene the image of a modern and uninhibited Korea, proud of its illustrious past and its refined tradition. . Drawing inspiration and philosophy from hanbok, the traditional clothing of Korean women, his art flourishes in a modernity constantly renewed, passing from the perfect control of the traditional forms to the aerial figures of a hanbok released.

Lee Young-hee began a career as a dressmaker-stylist almost by chance. Korean clothing will quickly become a passion she deepens through historical research conducted with Seok Ju-seon, recognized specialist in the history of costume. Together they work on a meticulous reconstruction of clothing from the scroll paintings depicting the late Choson period ceremonies (1394-1910). The costumes of the officials and the court costumes of this period are extremely rare. Lee Young-hee is putting in place a process of "recreation" of these pieces that includes the manufacture of identical silks, the use of natural dyeing, sewing and hand embroidery; her work also feeds on the collection of these precious Choson pieces - clothing or accessories - that she gradually collects throughout her career.

In 1993 Lee Young-hee shows a collection of ready-to-wear in Paris, and presents a haute-couture fashion show the following year. His "fabrics of winds and dreams" will enchant haute couture shows up to 2016 in Paris, as well as in New York. She explores all traditional materials (ramie, silk) while experimenting with new mixtures (banana fiber and silk), playing in turn the effects of transparencies and rough materials, making the traditional combination (an ample dress widening under the bust and a very short bolero tied with ribbons), a versatile vocabulary, freely and constantly reinvented.

The National Museum of Asian Arts - Guimet received in 2019 the exceptional donation of LEE Young-hee's textile fund from his daughter, Chungwoo LEE, with the support of the DARI Foundation.


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