Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present "We Are All Mountaineers," a new body of work by Los Angeles based artist Bovey Lee. Comprised of intricately hand cut Chinese rice paper, these works are a thematic follow up to Lee’s 2017 exhibition The Sea Will Come to Kiss Me, a site-specific installation engendered in response to the contentious rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election which mirrored Lee’s unease as an immigrant, woman, and person of color.
The exhibition title is a spinoff of #WeAreAllImmigrants and it reflects upon the recent unprecedented shift in immigration policies of the current administration and references the uphill battle of the immigration process. The works in the exhibition explore, in various ways, multiple facets related to migration: diaspora, lineage, displacement and the rebuilding of home, and familial separation. Drawing on immigrants’ personal experiences, the show affirms our shared desire for a sense of community, societal acceptance, and belonging.
The piece We Are All Mountaineers – Exit (出), the first Lee made for the exhibition and an ancestor for the other works, depicts a brief history of U.S. immigration with mountains and several U.S. cities most populated by immigrant serving as a backdrop. Recurring motifs – stars, gates, fences, oceans – seen throughout the show all stem from this work. The Star series, in reference to the American flag, depicts children alone and in suspended poses. Each child seeks comfort and stability through play or toys, while staying afloat in the transitory ocean with poise and courage. The Tiara pieces, with symbols of the idealized American home, reference both empowerment and preciousness.
Bovey Lee was born in Hong Kong and came to the US in 1993 to study art. She has a BA in Fine Arts from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, an MFA in painting from UC Berkeley, and an MFA in Digital Arts from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. National and international exhibitions include Fuller Craft Museum, MA; Nevada Museum of Art; Museum of Craft & Design, CA; Brooklyn Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Beijing, China; Fukuoka Museum of Art, Japan; and Hong Kong Museum of Art. Her work is in the collections of the Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology, Oxford University, UK; USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA; Hong Kong Museum of Art; Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, CA, among others. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.