Young Joo Lee combines inspiration from her dreams with personal and political histories to create drawings, sculptures and films. On view in the downstairs gallery, Paradise Limited is a three-channel animation based on Lee’s year-long project about the nature sanctuary at the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
Lee documented her research as a 25-meter scroll drawing, a reference to traditional Korean landscape painting, and created a sculptural scroll display to house the work, which provided the background for the film. Combining her research, dreams and interviews, Paradise Limited explores history, war, and the function of drawing as a medium that creates memory of and in the body. In the upstairs gallery is Song from Sushi, an animated music video, written from the point of view of a sushi woman served on a sushi conveyor belt. She sings about the stereotypical depiction of Asian women as exotic sexual objects in media and cultural representations. Additional works on paper and “performing” sculptures on view throughout the space provide context that, along with the films, take a viewer on an imagined journey.
Lee’s work is a glimpse into how our environments are not only outside of us, but how they truly alter our perception and inform our personal identities. Young Joo Lee (b. Seoul, Korea) lives and works in Los Angeles. She earned a BFA in painting from Hongik Arts University, Korea, a Meisterschuelerin in Film from Städelschule, Frankfurt Germany, and a MFA in Sculpture from Yale University. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally.