by the artists Hyemin Lee (b. 1968) and Jae Yong Rhee (b. 1969). Although Lee and Rhee take different approaches
to form and use different materials, they both trace, reevaluate, and recreate forgotten memories in multiple layers.
The work of these artists represents two important ways of connecting the present with its past and future traces.
Lee creates wall reliefs and sculptural installations from a variety of materials, such as clothes, wooden frames, and
plaster bandages, and Rhee repeatedly photographs objects to accumulate hundreds of photographic layers. Together,
Lee’s sculptural installations and Rhee’s series of photographs of relics, landscapes, and seascapes will give viewers
the chance to reminisce about the past, revisit their once-lost memories and experience the rapidly transforming
terrain of contemporary culture.
The work produced by Hyemin Lee represents the artist’s personal experiences from childhood to the present day
in assemblages of hand-sewn pillows, broken wooden frames, and shaped plaster bandages. Her art is almost always
inspired by her own experience, whether physical or emotional. For instance, Lee’s recent plaster-bandage series, a
collection of monochromatic white pieces, arose from her experience of receiving treatment for a broken arm in the
form of a plaster-cast and bandages. Hyemin Lee is best known for her series of sculptures constructed from
numerous small hand-sewn pillows, which evoke personal memories, dreams, and hopes. Formed from the
discarded bed linen and clothes of the artist’s family and friends, the pillows are textile repositories of personal
memories. Multiplied in many layers, this soft and rather fragile domestic item becomes a powerful entity. In her
ABHK project, however, Lee has traded soft textiles for unyielding cast sculptures, reifying intangible ideas into
the solid layers of pillow-shaped sculpture. In so doing, Lee visualizes the binaries of dreams and reality, birth and
death, and past and present.
Born in Seoul, Korea in 1968, Hyemin Lee received a BFA in Sculpture from Seoul National University and an MA
from New York University. She has held solo exhibitions at a number of galleries, such as Art Mora (New York) in
2015, Tenri Cultural Institute (New York) in 2014, Gallery EM (Seoul) in 2013, and Yoo Art Space (Seoul) in 2006.
Her art has also featured in important group shows at a variety of galleries and museums, such as Sylvia Ko Gallery
(New York) in 2013, Iljoo Art Center (Seoul) in 2006, and Sung Gok Museum (Seoul) in 2005.
Known for his painterly photographs, Jae Yong Rhee is currently working on a new series entitled Memories of the
Gaze: Relics (working title), which reflects the artist’s long-term interest in capturing a medium or moment capable
of triggering once-lost memories. The focus of the series is Goryeo-period celadon in the collection of the National
Museum of Korea. When working with subjects categorized as “cultural assets,” Rhee focuses on the objects
themselves, not on their value as national treasures; he views them in their true state as objects, and thus creates a
medium that leads to the past from the present. Rhee’s usual method involves taking photographs of a subject from
various angles and then layering them to create a single image. The traces of these layers visible in the single final
image remind the viewer of the object’s movements; in other words, of its vitality through time. “Being seen” thus
becomes equivalent to “being alive.” The process of layering photographs is also one of accumulation, which
replicates the rhythmical movements of the subject. In Rhee’s art, the subject’s rhythmical movements do not move
toward extinction; rather, the subject is materialized by the process of creating art.
Born in Yeosu, Korea in 1969, Jae Yong Rhee received a BA in Visual Communication Design from Hong-ik
University, where he also completed his MA in Product Design. After working as a commercial photographer, Rhee
returned to the fine-art scene in 2010. He has since held numerous solo exhibitions at galleries such as Space 22
(Seoul) in 2015, Gallery EM (Seoul) in 2014 and 2012, and Olive Gallery (Seoul) in 1998. His works have featured
in group shows at a number of museums and galleries, including Hongik University Museum, Seoul (1997), Sai
Gallery, Seoul (1999), Hallim Museum, Daejeon (2000), Gallery EM, Seoul (2010), Insa Art Center, Seoul (2011),
and Culture Station Seoul 284 (2012). As a finalist in the 2012-2013 Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Rhee’s work was
also shown at Espace Louis Vuitton, Singapore (2013). Rhee has participated in art festivals such as the 1999 Arles
Photo Festival in France. His works feature in the collections of SK Networks, the National Museum of
Contemporary Art, Art Bank, Korea, and the Seoul Museum of Art, Korea.