Abecedarian is pleased to carry work by Korean American artist Aimee Lee. Lee’s work touches on historic aspects of her craft, in particular the ancient techniques of hangi. Hanji is Korean handmade paper. Lee spent a year in Korea as a Fulbright Fellow researching hand papermaking and binding, natural dyeing from plants and insects, and traditional paper weaving.
Lee’s work is in part a response to seeing this clash between past and present production values. She adapts ancient techniques and materials both to encourage the survival and evolution of the old ways, and to add layers of meaning to her work. This work also examines
the nature of being human, and ways that people create personal realities based on constructs of family and culture.
Her work considers a country whose culture has specific borders, thresholds, and customs for each person in its society. Lee is
especially interested in the private experiences of people in social strata that are usually disregarded or rendered invisible. My work looks at how people express these experiences and how private stories can be projected onto the outside world.
So, while the works examine human scale issues, much of the work itself is diminutive in scale. Typically of limited palette and using simple sewing techniques, the books don’t proclaim their importance but seem content to wait in quietude for a viewer with time enough to appreciate the feel of the handmade sheets, to absorb the minimal texts that speaks of universal truths.
It has been a pleasure for me this morning, to spend a bit of my morning reviewing some of Lee’s works in inventory at the gallery. You can see these same works online at this link.