Helen Lee


image of artist's work

Helen Lee was born and raised in Chicago. Her parents immigrated from South Korea in the mid 1970’s. She received at BA in Dance with a minor in Acting from University of Hawaii at Manoa. Studying in Hawaii was an important time for Helen. It was the first time she was able to truly feel comfortable in her own skin and fully appreciate where her family roots comes from. It was in this time, she started to cultivate her artistic and creative voice. While in Hawaii, she was a company member for Tangentz Butoh Performance Group led by Lori Othani. Upon returning to Chicago, she joined The Humans directed by Rachel Bunting, a company she performed for 11 years. She also formed Momentum Sensorium in 2007, a dance performance company that has been known to perform in unconventional venues and have been seen ripping open grapefruits, releasing ladybugs and inviting audience members to walk with their eyes closed in gardens, busy city streets or quiet corners. Momentum Sensorium was a recipient of the Dance Bridge Residency at the Chicago Cultural Center and has performed at various Michigan lighthouses since 2011. Helen was mentored by Noémie Lafrance to create, direct and choreograph her short experimental dance film for Experimental Film Virginia. The short film was presented by Dance Film Association in New York and for Chicago Onscreen at Northerly Island Park. She collaborated with Indira Johnson, artist for Ten Thousand Ripples, an organization to promote peace and nonviolence and presented works Shanti Ahimsa and Dear Travel: Are we there yet? at the Lakefront Path by Fullerton Beach and at Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA). She was an Awardee for Chicago Moving Company’s D49 program and had the opportunity to present a new work, Watermelon Graveyard with Carl Wiedemann as an Affiliate Artist for Dance Shelter 2016. Helen has also teaching yoga since 2007 and has had the privilege of teaching in China, Belize, Finland, India, Italy, South Korea and Mexico.

Many of her passions and curiosities lean towards the sensorial, the tactile, the internal workings; how these components can bring us closer to truth, self discovery and evolution in relationship to ourselves, other people and our environment. As part of her process, she utilizes silent meditation, mindfulness practices, exploratory pursuits in sensory stimulation and sensory deprivation and Butoh techniques.

Currently, her work," a glimpse of me, my mom" is investigating home, unpacking family history,  identity, memory, travel, migration, immigration, displacement, belonging, guilt, shame and what it means to be American through performance, storytelling, video, animation and installation. Most recently she had a solo exhibition in South Korea at CICA Museum and had a residency at Arteles Creative Center in Finland.

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 Institute.