Commissioned by The Future Tense for it's SPECTRA I exhibition, ‘Refractive Monolith’ is a three dimensional reaction to, or conversation with, Lee Baker’s recent paintings, which combine vivid colour and extreme perspectives to ‘build’ fantastical meta-cities against a stormy backdrop of ashen clouds and pending darkness.

Utilising approximately 10 thousand metres of acrylic yarn, Baker has occupied the space with this imposing architectural monolith, forcing its false perspective upon the viewer.

As with Baker’s paintings the joyous colours give a reassuring sense of security, while at the same time the spectrum of laser-like yarn represents the volatile infrastructure and relative weakness of buildings. The gray walls serve to both enhance the colours whilst also alluding to a looming catastrophe.

Drawing on the narrative and scenic elements of Japanese films such as Osamu Tezuka’s 'Metropolis', Katsuhiro Otomo’s 'Akira' and further exploring the idea of a self-aware 'thinking city' developed in films such as 'Tekkonkinkreet' and Makoto Shinkai’s 'A Place Promised in our Early Years', Lee Baker’s art practice explores the dichotomy between Japan’s fragile, intricate cultural aesthetic and the relentless forces of urbanisation that increasingly mark its landscape.

Read more about SPECTRA I here:

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