Joo Young Lee is an artist born in 1990, in Seoul, South Korea. Through sculpture, installation, and various media, Lee explores the complexity of identity, trauma, memory, and language, as well as contemporary social issues. She is currently working on Exit 10 Archive Project which documents and questions misogyny in Korean culture.

Personal Statement

My recent practice starts from reading and collecting the testimonies of survivors of sexual and domestic violence. I take the testimonies as a point of departure and transform the intangible memories into the visual language. In a recent series of works, I translated a part of testimonies into the Flag Semaphore, which is an alphabet-based system for sending a message by waving a pair of flags. Through the process, the language that holds traumatic memory is abstracted and transformed into a rather illegible visual code. The abstracted sentence, then, is transferred to the physical surface of an object. This is encountered by a viewer as a mere pattern until its source is realized. The message is continuously transmitting but reception does not occur until one actively participates in decoding. It is derived from a desire to create an artistic practice that reflects both personal history and social issues, with a belief that these are not separate. I would like to continue to focus on researching and developing bodies of works that reflect the psychological and social conflicts that a survivor faces by inventing methodologies of production that can give form to the ideas underpinning these conflicts.


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Insitute.