[ISEA2019] Artist Statement: Hye Rim Lee – Black Rose

Artist Statement

3D animation, 4’45” loop, stereo sound.

My 3D animation deals with the world of virtual relationships using sophisticated computer programs to drive the viewer’s thoughts with dazzling 3D digital effects of glossy glass that optimize perspective, texture, and reflection. I explore instinct, fantasy and dream through mythological elements of identity, like a bunny named TOKI, a 3D character that has been my creation and my practice for some time. Through her, I explore cyber feminism and cyber trend between West and East in the challenge of mixing old mythology and new contemporary myth making. TOKI has evolved into the character of the Black Rose Queen who is created in a reflective paradise exploring ideas of isolation. TOKI captivates the viewer by balancing the desire for escapism with real desire and personifying this through virtual reality. Black Rose v1 depicts a dreamscape for a journey of TOKI’s shifting identity. TOKI floats and spins on the Flower Ring in the Mushroom Woods trying to escape her trauma from death and lost love and now searching for love and happiness in the diamond rain playing with the clouds of beads and marching pink bunnies. A floating, shiny, glossy glass TOKI becomes a Black Rose Queen in Lucid Dream, a never-ending, ever-moving infinite dream, staged in a playful, childlike narrative story alluding to fantasy and symbolism. TOKI is a shape shifter and Princess, Queen and Rose. Black Rose Queen is a birth statement for the glory of a Queen who is born in the process of transformation from escaping her tragedy to an infinite dream, but shines beautifully in floating dream and reality mix. Black Rose lures the viewer into a zone between the digital surreal and visceral reality.

  • Hye Rim Lee is an Auckland based Korean New Zealand artist and a lecturer at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design. Lee’s work has been exhibited with more than 250 exhibitions worldwide in the major solo and group exhibitions at: Kukje Gallery Seoul, Max Lang Gallery New York, Waterfall Mansion & Gallery New York, Gallerie Volker Diehl Berlin, Monte Clark Gallery Vancouver, MoCA Shanghai, Today Art Museum Beijing, MOCA Taipei, Minsheng Art Museum Shanghai, Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Fundacio Joan Miro Barcelona, Wereld Museum Rotterdam, Starkwhite Auckland, San Jose Museum of Art, MMCA Seoul, SeMA Seoul, SOMA Seoul, The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts Taipei, Govett Brewster Art Gallery New Plymouth, Adam Art Gallery Wellington, The Gus Fisher Gallery Auckland, numerous collateral exhibitions in the 58th, the 54th and the 53rd Venice Biennale, Incheon Women’s Art Biennale Incheon, Animamix Biennale China 2011, Samsung Media Exhibition Daegu 2011, and artfairs including Basel, FIAC, Frieze, Armory Show, Basel Miami, Art HK. Shanghai Contemporary, Art Paris, KIAF. She won the artist residency: Ssamzie Space Seoul and ISCP New York (2007-2018). She was awarded numerous funding from CNZ, NZ Film Commission, and Asia NZ Foundation. She was a Visiting Fellow at AUT in 2013. She is a finalist of Wallace Art Awards (2016). Her works become part of major international art collection and private collections worldwide. Samsung NZ and Hyundai NZ sponsored Hye Rim Lee. TV NZ made a 45-minute documentary about Hye Rim Lee, TOKI Does New York 2008. hyerimlee.com