“The degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory; the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting”― Milan Kundera, Slowness
In recent years I’ve focused on exploring through sculpture how nature influences my sense of self, which for me feels similar to searching for the fundamental truths of nature. Nature is mysterious. It creates in me a sense of awe for the universe, while urging me to reconsider the meaning of life and to be more self-aware. In my current practice, the elements of nature that inspire my work are water and mountains. For me, water is an essential element of nature and an object for meditation; it evokes thoughts of time and memory. It inspires me to project my creative spirit into my artwork. Mountains convey limitless energy and make me think about space, time and my life. In connection with these two elements of nature, I am interested in self-image, memory, reflections and shadows.
Water and mountain imagery and symbols are intimately linked to human experience such as memory, movement, time, and encounters with life and death. They have provided protection, strength, and sustenance throughout our evolution and existence, and a magical connection to nature. Mountains and water offer limitless possibilities for me to communicate with nature through my art. Meditation is an important tool in my work. Rather than control nature, I want to nourish my spirit and identity and the viewer’s by expressing those feelings in the work. Everyone has their own important memories, which relate to their individual lives. Even the most trivial memories can have a great effect on one’s life. I feel the purpose of my work is to express the importance of a spiritual sense of self realized in relationship to nature, and share this idea with the viewer.
-- JeeEun Lee
JeeEun Lee, born and raised in South Korea, has been an exhibiting artist for twenty years. She received her B.F.A. & M.F.A. in Sculpture at Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea, and moved to the U.S in 2010, where she earned a second M.F.A degree at Syracuse University, New York. She is currently working as an assistant professor at Northern Kentucky University. Her work focuses on elements of nature, exploring how nature influences her sense of self and making a wide range of relationships between nature imagery/symbols and human experiences such as memory, movement, time, and encounters with life and death.