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Let it sprout beneath my skin

Florence Yuk-ki LEE

Lost, 2023, oil, Acrylic and Pastel on Wood, 80x60cm

Artside Gallery is pleased to announce that it will hold media artist Florence Yuk-ki Lee’ solo exhibition “Let it Sprout beneath My Skin” from January 26 to February 29, 2024. Lee (b.1994) is an artist who incorporates momentary phenomena, vivid experiences, and visual metaphors in her work, and, inspired from daily life, explores the multilayered connection of cultural identities. The exhibition is part of a research residency project supported by the Cultural Exchange Grant of Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC), and Lee’s first solo exhibition in Korea. In the event, viewers will be able to see her prints, original paintings, and installation works, as well as her media works.

The rising artist Lee was born in Hong Kong and received her B.A. in graphic communication design from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London in 2016, and her M.F.A. from the School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong in 2021. Her media work, Park Voyage, which was commissioned by M+ Museum in Hong Kong, is on display in the arrival terminal of Hong Kong International Airport. And it is scheduled to be regularly projected on the façade of M+ Museum from 2024. it should be called M+ Facade

Owl Playground, 2023, oil, Acrylic and Pastel on Wood, 80x60cm

A ‘playground’ is a passage through which lots of emotions can be conveyed

Lee created works of art with objects representing playgrounds where she played as a child, works containing her childhood memory. Playgrounds are a source of fun and a space of amusement for children. However, they can be a place where one waits for someone or feels alone. For Lee, playgrounds bring her to her childhood place when she waited for her mother until late at night when streetlights came on. Noting such contrasting images brought from the playground, she found that a playground was a perfect place with which she could express her emotions she felt as a kid. Viewers can take a glimpse at her unique art world through her animations, installations, and drawings in the exhibition.

Lee’s artworks that are sweet and ripe-prone

LEE’s artworks show ephemerality of life in a humorous style with the medium of animation, a medium based on temporality. They reveal how Lee feels about places in the works. Focusing on the stream of consciousness, Lee crafted her works with digitally hand-drawn still frames. Each of her works conveys a narrative like a short story. Besides them, Lee exhibits her painting made with oil and acrylic paints, entitled ‘Lost’, ‘Found’ and ‘Owl Playground’ her inspirations from people’s daily lives in cities in Korea and Hong Kong from her own perspective. For the work, she used wooden panels instead of canvas. The work was completed with a unique texture, colors, and a structure, which causes it to give off a different feel from other digital drawings.

Found, 2023, Acrylic on Wood, 60x80cm

Like street lamps we can only rely on in the dark streets

There is another work that deserves to be looked at. Lee took street lamps in playgrounds, parks, and cities as a found object with which she expressed her emotions. Street lamps may be seen as just lights to brighten up streets at night, but in Lee’s work, their light harbors a deep and significant meaning. This work is a kind of experimental work dealing with a conversation between a victim of sexual violence and an artist. Lee wishes the lamps in her animation to be an irreplaceable warm glow to people who lose their way on dark streets. And she hopes that the glow will provide them with protection, safety, and peace, and that encourage viewers to cheer up one another with love.

Albireo, 2023, Video Installation, Street lamps, light bulbs, bouncy balls, polyethylene toys, candy balls, LED light strips

Love blooms from a place

All of Lee’s works are related with a term ‘topophilia.’ ‘Topo-‘ refers to place, and ‘philia’ love. This term naturally involves one’s cultural identity with a specific place and it tends to arouse a strong affection to the place. As the term implies, we get to have memories and emotions about the place we have experienced. Lee says, “I expect that people of different nationalities will share their memories through the place depicted in my work.”

Viewers to the exhibition will be able to be reminiscent of their childhoods in the space formed from a new perspective of playground. In addition, it is expected that Lee’s work, dealing with a social issue that might be seen gloomy, will console all viewers warmly, and will motivate them to find out special values hidden in their daily lives.

Merry-go-round like a lullaby, 2023, Single-channel digital video (color, sound), 2 min 20 sec, Edition of 3+2AP

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