ivory Yeunmi lee
My main theme of paintings is “The garden with unfamiliar symbolic images.”
I create the gardens, which are not a physically existent place but a place in my imagination where I escape reality and a place where once human nature roamed free in a now nonexistent Garden of Eden.
I use the “de-familiarization” process to create a world that can and should only exist in an imaginary world. The objects and gardens of this imaginary world are uncanny and distorted but vividly detailed to maximize the de-familiarization process. Furthermore, the process also helps to create riddling stories that are gory and obscure. These unpleasant and uncanny situations are expressed with concise and contradicting pastel toned coloring that effectively depicts the opposing horror and humor along with the unsettling and absurdity that in turn creates a delightful play on the boarders of reality and imagination.
I strive to express my world with a combination of various methodologies such as Form, Expression, Colors and Medium to complement and strengthen the differences. Through the combination of methodologies I ultimately would like to convey my Ironic and Witty world and that my works can be the key to the boarders of fantasy and reality.
San Francisco-based artist Ivory Yeunmi Lee received her BFA and MFA from Kookmin University in Seoul. Her work has been featured in many solo exhibitions in Seoul and included in group exhibitions at the Today Art Museum in Beijing and at the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art. Her paintings are ironic and witty, existing on the border between fantasy and reality. While at first glance her works appear very graphic, Lee employees a variety of very traditional media, including oil, acrylic and colored pencil, to compose each piece. Each composition is centered on Lee’s concept of ‘The Garden’ as the basic matrix from which everything else in this universe originates. Executed in a lightly saturated color palette, her whimsical landscapes are inhabited by anthropomorphized plants and creatures. Despite the playful demeanor of these cartoon like creations, it is easy to sense the darkness that lurks beneath the surface.