Hayoon Jay Lee
Artist Statement

Artist Statement
In this new body of work, I explore a shifting landscape of consciousness, slipping between dream and reality, and evoking an unspoken concern. A dawning awareness pervades mind and body; it exists on the level of social dynamics; and assimilates aspects of the natural world as well as the global economy. Rice grains give way to hundreds of tiny pieces of rice paper; a single filament of this paper expands, little by little, and with the passage of time, transforms itself back into the macrocosm from which it came.

My experience with organic raw materials, such as rice, allows me to formulate patterns and motifs, making rhymes with the fragile web of nature. The resulting emotion-laden surfaces lay just beyond our reach; the extensive fields of rice seem to glow with their own inner light; yet each element takes the form of a single grain tentatively holding onto its place in its own peculiar realm. These "topographical" studies do not refer to a familiar place; nevertheless, they serve to convey unforeseen physical and psychological spaces. While working, I become intrigued by the history of thousands of types of rice grains. Each small being creates its own energy, and when it is transformed into collective shapes, the result is a startling visual poetry.

Born in South Korea. Hayoon Jay Lee obtained BFA in sculpture from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2007 and a MFA degree from Rinehart School of Sculpture at the MICA in 2009.

Among her many honors and awards, Lee has received a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship award (2008) from the U.S. Department of Education, a Full Fellowship of Artist in Residency Award (2012) from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and a best in show distinction award (2008) at the 14th International Exhibition at the SoHo 20 Gallery in Chelsea, New York City and Dapu International Art Award (2011) in Northern Art Museum, Daqing China. Lee was invited to the Gwangju Museum of Art (S. Korea: 2012) as a visiting artist and has participated in various artist residency programs: Museum (Beijing, 99 China:2014), Gwangju Museum of Art (S. Korea: 2012), the Fine Arts Work Center (Provincetown, MA: 2009), the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson VT: 2009), Sculpture Space (Utica, NY: 2011), Art Farm (Marquette, NE: 2016), Byrdcliffe Artist in Residence Program (Woodstock, NY: 2012), and the Beijing Studio Center (2010) in Beijing, China. Her work is in the collections of the Gwangju Contemporary Museum of Art (Gwangju, Korea: 2017), Henan Museum (Zhengzhou, China: 2010), QCC Art Gallery (Queens, NY: 2015), Community School of Maryland (Brookville, MD: 2004), Sculpture Space (Utica, NY: 2012), Dapu International Art Center (Daqing, China: 2011), FAWC (Provincetown, MA: 2009), and many private collections. She has exhibited her work widely, both nationally and internationally. Lee is known for working with rice, rice-related motifs and biomorphic vital organ-like forms, and incorporating this imagery in paintings, sculptures, installations, performances, and videos. Her artwork appeals to individual sensibilities and susceptibilities, while also encouraging reflection upon human dilemmas and global issues. She currently lives and works in New York City.

Artist Web Site
Works & History
2019Eternal Mother, CAAC/Gallery 456, New York, NY
Visual Delights: Special Exhibition of Gwangju Design Biennial & The 18th FINA World Championships, Gwangju Museum of Art,
Gwangju, Korea
Remind Cheolam, Taebaek City, S. Korea
Face to Face: Crossing Boundaries, Leekangha Art Museum, Gwangju, Korea
Export 2019, Mid-Hudson Trolley Barn, Poughkeepsie, NY
2018Existence, Meixi Exhibition Hall, Changsha City, Hunan, PRC
New Acquisitions 2017, Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju City, Korea
ArtWalk NY: Coalition for the Homeless, New York, NY
2017Beautiful Giving, Kim Man-duk Meseum, Jeju, Korea
Asia Contemporary Art Exhibiton 2017, Jeonbuk Museum of Art
Wish You Were Here 16, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
A Grain of Rice, The United Nations Gallery, New York, NY
Catalysts, Mid-Hudson Art Council Gallery, Poughkeepsie, NY
Celebrating Asian-American Artists of the Hudson Valley, The Howland Cultural Center, Beacon, NY
2016New York Asian Art Exhibition, Amerasia Bank Gallery, Flushing, NY
Adopted Koreans Networking with Art and Film, The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Art Gallery, New York, NY
No-Boundaries, The United Nations Gallery, New York, NY
Contemporary Art Exhibition, BamBit Art Space, Damyang, Korea
Asian-American Artists of the Hudson Valley, The Howland Cultural Center, Beacon, NY
The Need For My Care, Waterfall Mansion & Gallery, New York, NY
Art Farm Artists Residency Full Fellowship, Marquette, NE
2015Dialogue, 99 Art Museum, Beijing, China
Working Women: 36 Contemporary Women Artists, Marian Graves Mugar Art Gallery,
Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH
Near and Far: Deagu Contemporary Art Festival, Gangjeong, S. Korea
Working the Unit, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ
60 Americans, Elga Wimmer PCC, Chelsea, NY
Weaving Time: An Exhibition from the Archive of Korean Artists in America Part 3, 2001-2013,
Gallery Korea, Korean Cultural Service New York, NY
Asian Art 40 Years Contemporary Views, QCC Art Gallery, Queensborough Community College, Oakland Gardens, NY
Deagu Contemporary Art Festival, Invitational Exhibition, Gangjeong, S. Korea
2014Visible Sound, Lee Joong Seop Art Museum; Chang-dong Residency Art Gallery, Jeju, Korea
Far and Wide, 99 Art Museum, Beijing, China
The Power of Palpitation in Art, Smiling Art Center, Deagu, Korea
The Visual Language of Contemporary Art, Wisser Memorial Library Gallery, New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, NY
Commonality of Empathy, Bosong Gunrip Beakmin Museum,
Jeollanam-Do, S. Korea
99 Art Museum Residency Full Fellowship, Beijing, China
2013A Frog’s Treasure Hunt, Okgwa Art Museum, Jeollanam-do,
Okgwa, Korea
Bursting! NY, The Clock Tower, Long Island City, NY
Shifting Landscape-II, The Clock Tower, No Longer Empty,
Long Island City, NY
Mixtopias, VisArts, Rockville, MD
Line-2-Art Invitational One-Person Exhibition Grant, Gwangju, Korea    
2012How Much Do I Owe You?, The Clock Tower, No Longer Empty,
Long Island City, NY
Gwangju Contemporary Museum of Art Residency Exhibition, GMA Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Beautiful Horizon, The Summit Art Center, Beijing, China
Gwangju Contemporary Museum of Art, Yangsan-dong Residency
Full Fellowship, Gwangju, South Korea
Byrdcliffe Artist in Residence Program, Full fellowship from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, Woodstock, NY
2011Black and White Gold, Dapu International Art Center, Daqing, China
Catch! Sculpture Space, Utica, NY
Works-In-Progress, Sculpture Space, Utica, NY
Letter of Appointment, Art College, Daqing Normal University,
Daqing, China
China Dapu International Art Award, Northern Modern Art Museum, Daqing City, China
Sculpture Space Full Fellowship, Utica, New York