I am interested in the exploration of the aesthetic possibilities existing within non-art items, transforming industrial materials to transcend their intended purpose. This reflects the ongoing transformation of self that occurs as I face my conflicting cultural identity. The materials I use are in large part translucent, referencing my exploration of the elusive and fading quality of memory. The translucent materials are naturally interactive with their environment and immediately transformed by whatever is behind them. I too, feel this inherent sense of environmental affect, as I find myself directly shaped and changed by my surroundings.
The repetition and layering of materials in my art represents the physical and mental process of my work. It reflects the act of meditation, becoming a personal ritual and form of prayer.
Sungmi Lee earned MFA from Maryland Institute College Of Art, 2005.
Solo exhibitions include C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, MD in 2006 and 2007, and Gana Art Gallery, NYC in 2010. Group exhibitions include the National Academy Museum, NYC; The Menil Collection, Houston, TX; Rush Arts Gallery, NYC; “Bearable Lightness and likghtness”, P.S. 1 /MOMA.
Her work is included in private collections throughout the country. She is the recipient of the S.J. Wallace Truman Award for sculpture, National Academy Museum, NYC; Aljira, Emerge 9; and Viewing Program, The Drawing Center, NY. She was a resident at the Vermont Studio Center and the MacDowell Colony, NH. In 2010, She will participate LMCC Swing space.
Reviews of Lee’s work have appeared in publications such as Sculpture Magazine, The New York Times, The Korea Times, New York Arts Magazine, The Younger Than Jesus Directory/New Museum, among others.