Lee Gil Rae’s exhibit of copper trees comments on deforestation


The deforestation and destruction of  natural resources around the world is continually on the rise. Lee Gil Rae in his most recent gallery title ‘Pine Tree’ constructed copper trees to capture the beauty of these natural elements in the world. Each tree is intricately woven with copper wire showing the importance and detail that comes into creating a tree. There is a sense of permanence with each tree in the gallery which adds conversation to how natural trees should be treated in the world. While Lee Gil Rae didn’t see a necessary need for his inspiration to be a pine tree, they are the faces of the worlds forests.

What makes the gallery so surreal is the leaflessness of each of the trees. Instead, visitors get to follow the winding paths of the copper wires that lead to extensions of branches from each trunk. By creating leafless tress, Lee Gill Rae is commenting on the future of our planet with how the world treats deforestation. The natural environment is traded out for large cities and buildings. Instead of nature that is created untouched by humans, the world is turning towards man made nature with large landscapes that no longer hold the same purity. This is to bend to the ever growing population, but at what cost?

Lee Gil Rae uses the copper wire to form the shapes and structure of a tree trunk. This is able to resemble the shapes and patterns that people can see when they are looking at a tree. He compares working with the copper wire when he connects different links to be similar to brush strokes on Oriental paintings.

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To view more of Lee Gil Rae’s work, go here.