March 1, 2024 – April 13, 2024
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, March 1st, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Open Studio, Suite 104, 401 Richmond St. West, Toronto.
Spring Again is Jaehyang Lee’s first exhibition since 2016 and features a series of intricate lithograph prints, many of which were created in the last two years. Lee’s work draws upon her experience of dislocation and isolation when she moved to Toronto from Seoul, Korea, and the connection and encouragement that she found in the natural world. As a result, her richly detailed imagery combines fragile forms found in nature with human features and bodily elements. Lee is drawn to the ordinary and often collects different plants which she allows to dry, wrinkling and contorting into their natural forms. These subjects are not necessarily impressive, rather they are small, mundane, and often fading away. Through her work, Lee aims to uncover the uniqueness of these small natural objects and to narrate their extraordinary story.
Lee’s latest print, Spring Again, visualizes resilience and interconnectedness. This print meticulously weaves together twisted and fractured leaf skeletons, each one representing an individual who has weathered the trials of challenging circumstances. Amidst their struggles, these leaves find solace and support through profound communication, culminating in a mesmerizing harmony. Employing the labour-intensive technique of stone lithography, Lee herself embarked on an enchanting and arduous journey to bring this imagery to life. The lithography medium, too, represents formidable challenges, demanding unwavering dedication and resilience at every step.
Throughout Lee’s work is a heartfelt aspiration that these delicate and overlooked beings convey an uplifting and reassuring message of resilience and growth. Through a harmonious interplay of imagery, she strives to permeate the viewer’s consciousness with a sense of optimism and solace, inspiring them to find beauty.
Jaehyang Lee is a Korean artist based in Toronto. She holds a BFA and MFA from Hong Ik University in Seoul, Korea, and an additional BFA from OCAD U in Toronto. Lee immigrated to Toronto in 2001, and since 2007 has been an artist member at Open Studio, where she practices lithography. She has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Seoul and Toronto and was an artist resident at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta. Her artwork reflects her upbringing in the outskirts of Seoul, emphasizing her intimate connection with nature and its cyclical resilience.
When Lee moved to Toronto, she felt a sense of isolation and dislocation in Anglophone society. Mother Nature provided her with consolation and encouragement. She represents this experience in her work through images that juxtapose human features with fragile or neglected natural forms and objects. These idiosyncratic images are a reminder of our shared inevitable fate; death, but they also convey the preciousness of life, humour, and hope.
Jaehyang Lee gratefully acknowledges funding support from the Ontario Arts Council.