Hye Rim Lee Art
Artist New York, Auckland New Zealand, Seoul Korea
Hye Rim Lee was a singer since she was three, and majored in voice at Ewha Women’s University in Seoul. But since the complication from her tonsil operation, she sadly had to stop singing. Under the influence of her artistic parents, (father a theater director, mother a soprano,) her art career began at the Elam School of Fine Arts, at the University of Auckland in New Zealand where she majored in Intermedia/Time based Arts. Hye Rim moved to NY in 07 debuting her work at the Armory Show with Kukje Gallery which led her to win an artist residency at ISCP NY 2007 and then a solo exhibition at Max Lang Gallery NY in 08. TVNZ commissioned a feature documentary film, TOKI Does New York, A Documentary about Hye Rim Lee in 2008 that aired on Artsville, and was premiered at DOCNZ in 4 major cities in New Zealand. Her work has been exhibited widely in major solo and group exhibitions at: Max Lang Gallery NY, Gallerie Volker Diehl Berlin, Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver, MoCA Shanghai, Today Art Museum Beijing, Fundacio Joan Miro Barcelona, Starkwhite Auckland, Kukje Gallery Seoul, San Jose Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Korea, Govett Brewster Art Gallery New Plymouth, Adam Art Gallery Wellington, a collateral exhibition in the 53rd Venice Biennale, Incheon Womens Art Biennale, The World Expo 2010 Shanghai and artfairs including Basel, FIAC, Frieze, Armory Show, Basel Miami, Art HK.
She has won the artist residency: Ssamzie Space Seoul and ISCP New York and was awarded funding from Creative New Zealand, NZ Film Commission, and Asia New Zealand Foundation. Her works have become part of major art collections: Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Adam Art Gallery, Te Papa, The University of Auckland, Ernst&Young, Saatchi&Saatchi NZ, Hara Museum, National Museum of Contemporary Art Korea and major private collections worldwide.
Greatest inspirations or influences?
- My father, Jin Soon Lee, who was a legendary figure and a pioneer in Korean contemporary theater.
- Also popular culture, fashion, art house film, magazines, modern architecture, cyber trend,my never ending imagination and bunnies!
Favorite galleries around the world?
- Lehmann Maupin NY, Punta Della Dogana,
- Francois Pinault Foundation Venice,
- Govett Brewster Art Gallery New Plymouth,
- Starkwhite Auckland, and Kukje Gallery Seoul
Tell us a little about the art scene in Seoul?
Despite of being under the shadow of China and Japan in the long history, Korea has become a new hip country amongst Asia with growing interests from the West about Korean film, pop culture and contemporary art.
Tobias Berger notes that the art that is being produced in Korea is of a very high quality, due to good art schools, a diversity of art spaces, talented pioneers and govt support. The Seoul art scene is probably the most sophisticated art scene in Asia. It has really good independent spaces, good commercial galleries, interesting art schools and good museums. That level of depth and the level of different kinds of art spaces is incomparable.
Dream project for you would be?
- Love to make a mural for Prada shop in Soho
- Crystal Palace project with Swarovski
- Collaboration for Chanel runway fashion show
Right now I am in a discussion with a curator to select my work for a Big Screen in NY for Valentine’s Day. I am preparing two collateral exhibitions in the next 54th Venice Biennale in 2011, making a new 3D animation for the exhibitions. I'm also preparing a big solo exhibition at Kukje Gallery in Seoul.
Anything else youd like to share with our audience?
- My 3D animation questions new technology’s role in image making and representation. My work has developed and grown with critical exploration and conceptually evolving through representation of TOKI character in my ongoing TOKI/Cyborg Project since 2002. My work is ambitious, expansive and conceptually and technically honed: each new project surpassing the previous genesis of TOKI.
- My photos and video installations tell a fantasy tale based on an intermingling of Eastern and Western popular culture and the study of new technologies and how they influence tradition.
- The graphics used inevitably refer to the Japanese manga and Korean animamix tradition, but are mixed with Western aesthetic ideals, thus giving life to transgender, transcultural characters who live in an imaginary world governed by testosterone.
- Through an exploration of videogame dynamics, intended for a male public, and a fascination with new technologies, I've used a different outlook to analyze some aspects of popular culture, globalization and especially femininity in relation to the media.
- My art’s task is to contribute, to evoke, provoke, and to encourage the mind, to give a smile on one’s face, to challenge the confusion between illusion and dream, vision and reality, and East and West. My art is playful and fantastic.