Hyemin Lee (Korean artist)
Exhibit and Art Installation.
Clothes, Cotton on canvas
Hyemin Lee’s pillow installations can be discussed in terms of their historical background in the Chosun Dynasty.
By creating Kyubang pillows Lee speaks to Chosun Dynasty Confucianist beliefs while respecting some, and changing others to suit her vision of contemporary art. She does not make them out of silk as did her forebears but rather out of repurposed materials that in themselves have a rich Korean history. Furthermore, Lee is reimagining the past into new forms. By sewing her works out of pieces of used Korean clothing she makes small pillows out of which she creates her installations. These configurations can take various forms like the frieze for example that usually wraps around the central part of a room. Although the frieze design is attributed to the ancient Greeks, by using it, Lee combines eastern and western compositional designs. As the artist says in her statement “I use daily objects representative of forgotten traditions or memories from my personal history, to create works, reviving in them the once lost dreams and hopes. I sew together old pieces of fabric and clothes, mostly traditional Korean garments that have been abandoned, to make miniature pillows, or collects wooden pieces from worn-worn-out frames or cheap paper and cast them together into colorful sculptures. As I bring together everyday trivialities and traces of the past to restructure them in multiple layers into my own creations, I invite the audience to revisit and recollect their own past.”
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