Lecture Opens Exhibition by Fiber Artist Mi-Kyoung Lee at Tarble Arts Center

Visiting artist Mi-Kyoung Lee will talk about her art to open the exhibition of her installation at the Tarble Arts Center, Eastern Illinois University. The lecture starts at 3pm on Friday, January 11. A reception for the artist follows the lecture. Admission is free and the public is invited.

Lee is an associate professor of Crafts and the head of Fibers at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. She is in residence at Eastern this week to create an installation titled “Symbiosis” in the Tarble’s eGallery. The installation will be on exhibition through February 24.

Installation art is created or adapted for the different exhibition spaces made available to the artist. Lee is bringing some sculptural elements with her, but the installation she creates at the Tarble will be unique in its overall configuration.

Lee’s sculptures look organic in form but are made using common, manufactured materials such as twist-ties, zip-ties, and pipe-cleaners.

Her art symbolically explores the relationship between the man-made and the synthetic, humankind and the environment, and between social constructs and natural order.

Says Lee, for her, “the consistent process of art making is ritual ceremony … my entire body and soul purely united.”

Lee’s repetitive processes echo age-old fibers techniques, such as knitting and weaving, and rhythmic life-forces, like the movement of the tides and changes in seasons. Her complex combination of forms and materials references nature and artificiality, the healing and the toxic, popular culture and the natural world.

“I allow my intellect and body to follow the rhythmic processes of repetition, understanding the relationships between tool and material, the material and process, and image and content.”

The artist holds a BFA in Fibers from Dong-A University Busan, Korea, and MFAs from the University of the Arts in Book Arts/Printmaking and in Fibers from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.  

Lee has been given eight solo exhibitions, and her art has been exhibited in Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, Busan (Korea), Alsace (France), and many other locations.  

For three summers Lee collaborated with The International Opera Theater Company to develop costumes and set designs for Italian operatic adaptations of William Shakespeare’s plays performed in Città della Pieve, Umbria, Italy.

In addition to teaching and her work as an artist, Lee has had articles published in Design magazine and the Michigan Korean Journal, regularly contributes essays to the Korean monthly magazine Crart, and was the editor for Art Textile of the World: Korea.

Lee’s residency is a New & Emerging Artists Series program of the Eastern Illinois University College of Arts & Humanities presented by the Tarble Arts Center and the Art Department.

The Tarble Arts Center is located at 2010 9th Street on the EIU campus in Charleston. For information contact the Tarble at 217-581-ARTS (-2787) or tarble@eiu.edu, or see online at www.eiu.edu/~tarble or on Facebook.

[cutline: A close up view of an untitled sculpture by Mi-Kyoung Lee from 2011, made of twist ties and wire.]