Stage of Mind : Scènes d’Esprit, the first European Exhibition of Korean artist JeeYoung Lee will be on display at the OPIOM Gallery in Opio France from Feb. 7 to March 7, 2014. Recipient of multiple artistic awards including the Sovereign Art Prize (2012), JeeYoung Lee is “one of the most promising up-and-rising figureheads of the younger Korean artistic world.”
Within the confines of her studio, she works patiently for weeks, sometimes months, in order to exclude any ulterior photographic alteration. She positions herself in the midst of each set, many times facing away, with the goal of capturing her quest for an identity, her desires and her frame of mind.
JeeYoung Lee assumes the roles of set designer, sculptor, performer, installation artist, and photographer.
Inspired by the Story of Shim Cheong, a Korea folktale as well as by Shakespeare’s Ophelia, Lee JeeYoung made this installation by painting paper lotus and flooding the room with fog and carbonic ice in order to create a mystic atmosphere.
Lotus flowers grow from the impure mud to reach for the light and bloom to the rise and fall of the sun; in Asia, it bears various cultural symbolisms such as prospects and rebirth. It is also known for its purifying function. The presence of the artist in the heart of such flower is meant to convey her personal experience. “I was born again by overcoming negative elements that had dragged me down and cleansed myself emotionally. The figure within a lotus blooming implies a stronger self who was just born again and is facing a new world”. It is this is very moment when one reaches maturity and full-potential that Lee illustrates in “Resurrection”, and, more generally speaking, throughout the entirety of her corpus.
I’ll Be Back
This piece is based upon a Korean fable in which a tiger chases desperate children into a well. A god lowered a rope from the sky by which the child escaped, but when the tiger cried out for help, a rotten rope was lowered, condemning the tiger to a miserable fate. Painted traditional fans are meticulously arranged as a whirlpool, while a hand emerges from its eye to grab a rope hanging down from above; hope can save oneself from even what can appear as the most desperate situation.