YehRim Lee, Athens, Georgia
East meets West is too easy here. While the connections are visible, there is so much more happening in these sculptures. Each piece is a study in the dichotomy of male versus female, utilitarian versus decoration, gravity versus flight, strength versus fragility. And, in each case, the exploration of gluttony raises attention to each set of contrasts, highlighting the visual and physical beauty of the abundant clay and glaze structure. To Lee’s credit, each complex form moves with ease in space, despite its kiln-hardened permanence: thin coil structures connect large planes of clay; each plane is covered in flowing glaze drips; and each glaze drip culminates in a long, frozen drop just on the cusp of falling. Despite their size, Lee’s installations carry a sense of lightness.
Lee’s pieces are bridges between cultures, but more personal bridges than vast cultural statements. Her forms reflect the complexity of living in a culture other than the one she was raised in. Complexities in scale, materials, abundance, and techniques all culminate to define a personal, evolving cultural identity.