Lee Gil-Rae graduated from Kyunghee University after studying in the department of art education, later going on to gain his Masters in the discipline of Sculpture. For twenty years, Lee used nature as his muse and crafted sculptures from steel and copper pipes. With rapid deforestation, Lee Gil-Rae's trees narrate the artificial nature that city dwellers so closely identify with. The man-made and constructed simulation of nature is apparent in all towns and cities. Nature is removed and confined to make room for the ever-expanding population.
Lee Gil-Rae has participated in several exhibitions in Korea, America and Japan and features in numerous permanent collections. He constructs enormous forests of copper, capturing this rapidly depleting resource for eternity.
In his persistent need to create organic forms Lee Gil-Rae takes it one step further in creating man-made nature. His works consist of surreal, leafless forests that one can meander into, with spiralling branches that are unnatural in structure but organic in aesthetic. These draw the viewer in to witness the intricate exteriors that mimic the curves and notches of aged tree bark. His sprawling branches fan out and are tipped with wisps of copper representing the needles of the pine trees, in true homage to Mother Nature.