– Highlights


Primavera 2017

23 Aug - 19 Nov


Hilarie Mais

23 Aug - 19 Nov

Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Aug

– Learning Events


2017 Lloyd Rees Lecture

22 Nov, 6.00pm, Level 2: Veolia Lecture Theatre


Art Safari

24 Nov, 1.00pm, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning


Artbar November 2017

24 Nov, 7.00pm, MCA

– News from inside the MCA

The Importance of Laughter

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Coming up in 2018…

Next year is one of the most exciting and diverse seasons yet. Find out what’s on. more

Six Films that Changed My Life (for better or worse): Antenna's Rich Welch

To pave the way for the soon-to-come cinema binge at Antenna Film Festival,Co-Director Rich Welch shared a few of his life changing films. more

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Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.

Lee Bul

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


26 Nov 2004 to 27 Feb 2005

Curator: Rachel Kent

about the exhibition

Lee Bul is a leading figure in the contemporary Korean art world. For her first Australian solo exhibition, Lee presented a selection of works from the late 1990s to 2004, as well as contextual video footage of performances from 1989 to 1996. Featuring her monster and cyborg sculptures, recent paintings and one of her interactive karaoke ‘pods’, the exhibition reflected key developments in the artist’s practice to date.

Lee Bul’s extraordinary creations sit between the realms of reality and fantasy. Encompassing sculpture and installation, as well as painting, drawing, performance and video, they draw upon the human form, which is extended and re-configured to new ends.

An artist practicing in Seoul, Korea since the late 1980s, Lee has achieved international recognition for her works that explore the extremes of perfection and its opposite, through the figures of the cyborg and the monster. Inspired by the characters of myth, film and art history, these potent forms suggested a world in transformation and the possibilities of bio-technological innovation.

Other works continued the artist’s fascination with technology and its human interface, via the global phenomenon of karaoke. In these works moving imagery, sound and interactivity combined to illustrate the contrasting worlds of private experience and popular culture. Lee suggests that music is ever-present in our lives, popular songs forming an ongoing ‘soundtrack’ to which we record pivotal moments in our individual and collective memory. Her karaoke works comprised of singular enclosures which viewers were invited to enter, to sing along to their favourite tunes. Like dancing in front of a mirror, the experience of these works became a performance for the self.

Lee’s artworks are characterised by their focus on finish. Meticulously crafted in industrial materials including plastic and rubber, her sculptures have a smooth, polished appearance that belies their laborious manual construction. This fascination with surface and ornamentation was extended by her delicate oil paintings upon silk and iridescent panels that feature mother-of-pearl inlay. In her most recent work in this exhibition, made especially for the MCA, the delicate beauty of crystal and glass beading was counteracted by the monstrous body from which it sprung.

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