Hyunmee Lee’s painting explores gesture and natural energy in a style that merges calligraphy with modern Western art and is rooted in Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian philosophies. Lee—who was born in Korea, lived in Australia, and currently resides in the United States—says that repeated culture shock led her to question cultural norms and her own identity. Lee’s spontaneous brushstrokes reveal her internal energies, and in this regard, her art practice is a means of self-examination and self-expression. Lee notes that “Eastern traditions of thought formed the essential basis” of her art, but she works with the spirit of the tradition rather than its form. “I invented my own calligraphy with gesture,” she has said. While Lee’s mark-making shares visual similarities with Robert Motherwell's ink paintings, she cites Seoul-based Park Seo-Bo as her first and most important artistic mentor.