So Youn Lee
Korean artist So Youn Lee’s effeminate yet ambiguous young subjects are figments of her imagination that evoke feelings of nostalgia. Her otherworldly characters are the result of a traditional upbringing and natural curiosity that led her to pursue a career in the United States. Lee received her education from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 2012, but her creative growth began as a child. She draws from her own life, carving it out of the canvas until an image eventually reveals itself. She works in a wide range of media, from delicate pen and ink drawings to candy colored paintings alive with psychedelic motifs. Lee describes her drawings as “Mochi”, and acrylic and oil works as “Mango”, referring to the color inspiration of her ethereal palette. She combines familiar, playful objects like childhood toys and tropical fruits together to create a personal religious allegory. Lee values self-exploration and combined experience to pave your path in this world, into the next. She calls this world Cute-Surrealism, influenced by animation and comic artists including Hayao Miyazaki and Osamu Tezuka, and contemporary artists like Yoshitomo Nara and Cy Twombly. Coincidentally, the graphics of the Minhwa folk art she once admired perfectly match their modern works. Lee currently lives and works out of her studio in Los Angeles, where she feels closer to her cultural roots than ever before. By exhibiting internationally across the United States, Europe and Asia, she has gained prominence as one of art’s exciting new voices.