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June 10 - August 21
Joyce Yu-Jean Lee
June 10 – August 21, 2022
Descend into and explore the underwater imagination of New York-based artist, Joyce Yu-Jean Lee. This immersive experience serves to showcase Lee’s dual commentaries on the playful nature of the underwater environment, and humanity’s subsequent impact. Physical sandbanks are the canvas for projected sea life animation, while glass-blown rondelles reflect light, evoking a swim through the sea. Lee finds marine life awe-inspiring. Her relationship with the water and its inhabitants stems from fishing with her father, cementing her connection between the activity and the environment. This established a symbiotic relationship built on respect for marine life, one in which has continued into her daily life and artistic practice.
The installation is inspired by the Mesophotic Zone, or the “Middle Light”, which is known as the furthest distance that sunlight reaches into the ocean. This zone generates a lush environment of coral reefs and algae, supporting larger ecosystems of fish life. Lee considers how human play, or recreation, has affected marine environments, and more specifically, the coral reefs that reside in this mesophotic realm. Through Lee’s unique layering techniques, she illustrates the wonder of the world while examining their subsequent ruin.
The dual nature of the installation is an opportunity to be immersed in an environment that, as humans, we rely on so heavily yet still eludes us in its mystery. Through imaginative components, scale, and technical prowess, viewers are able to access and further consider the nuances of this mysterious world. Lee employs all four corners of the gallery to provoke our senses through digital media, video, animation, and glass. This manufactured illustration of the underwater environment extends the boundaries of how contemporary artwork can engage our minds through technology. Working within this intersection of technology, science, and art, Lee utilizes her artistic practice to examine the ways in which we understand our physical world.