Currently based in New York, Sunyoung Lee was born in Korea. She received her B.A. in English Literature from Busan National University. Turning to the more visual forms of language, Lee then studied Painting and Aesthetics at Hongik University, a renowned art school in Korea, where she studied under the group of professors who lead the Dansakwha (Korean minimalism) movement. This experience made a lasting impact on her sense of composition and use of color. After graduating summa cum laude from Hongik, Lee came to the United States to explore the possibilities of contemporary abstract painting and completed her M.F.A. in painting at Syracuse University. Her accomplishments include multiple exhibitions in New York, Michigan, California, and also Korea. Lectures in Asian art history and studio classes at Syracuse University round out her activities. Lee has developed a radical artistic language based on literature and Eastern Philosophy. Healing, reconciliation and universal humanity are central to her artistic identity. The greatest mission of the divided country is to be reunited. As an artist from Korea, the only remaining divided country in the world after East and West Germany reunited at the end of the Cold War, Lee considers it her calling as an artist to dedicate her work to uniting humanity. Though she works within abstract expressionism, the personal emotion and experiences aroused by this style are part of a broader social context. Lee approaches abstract painting in a way that uniquely combines Lee’s Korean cultural heritage and the artist’s painterly brushwork as part of a process exploring the use of other forms of visual and aural languages. Her recent painting installations are more of a synthesis of all visual and aural languages, painting with computer art, using coding, and collaborating with musicians. Lee seeks a fresh interpretation, without borders, going beyond abstract painting. Lee hopes her work can change people’s ‘ways of thinking’ and ‘ways of seeing’ to communicate beyond time, race, and space. Lee’s response to this contemporary digital age is to provide a more analog symbol for healing and a way of communication on the path to unification. Her method of painting, seductive yet innocent, tries to meet the need for healing and meditation on the part of the human mind. Her ideas are counter-posed to the sexual fetishism, sensationalism, and consumerism of contemporary art. Themes about humanity are often thought of as romantic, timeless, age-old relics. Post-modern art, arousing and instant, connects the viewer with these themes. The zeitgeist yearns for a Renaissance. Lee’s work is a Re-Renaissance created especially for post-modern people who crave humanity.
Sunyoung's ArtPrize Entries
These are Sunyoung's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.