Born in Seoul, South Korea, Bo Lee is a contemporary artist, using video, drawing and found objects to explore various themes. His videos often implement a collection of rapid cuts to experiment with social meaning while his drawings play with gestures to reveal personal narratives. In the past, he has used objects such as sneakers, burnt notebooks in jars, broken rulers and cigarettes to search for alternative perspectives.
Raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Bo Lee attended Pratt Institute of Art and spent 10 years in Brooklyn before moving to Seoul. He currently resides in New Jersey.
I create works of art that centers around perception. The works are an exploration into myself as an artist and my process is often a struggle between ideas and figuring out the visual language I want to utilize that properly conveys them.
In works “Getting Out of Bed” (2017) and “Baked” (2020), I wanted to explore the daily challenges of thought and breaking out of it. Using a mattress as a found object, I am able to use already defined meaning and translate that using my videos. Similarly, in “Baked,” I spent time burning my artist notebooks as a way to deal with the baggage of my past. I kept the ashes in jars to remind me of them but any information that the notes had is now lost.
In “Amerikan Flag” (2020) and “Scan Lines,” (2020) the videos contain numerous individual clips that are grouped to transform the definition of the symbol that it represents. They are formed into something similar to a video mosaic, where each clip adds to the definition of the whole piece.
My works most often start with a concept. I begin writing about the idea that I want to share, developing the message to its most essential. In maybe a different part of my brain, I collect techniques I want to explore. I work on these techniques just enough to be able to comfortably incorporate it into my works. Almost like picking a class project partner, concept and technique collaborates on what will eventually become a final piece. Sometimes the concept takes the lead, sometimes it’s the technique. It’s a tug and pull situation, in the happiest of circumstances, a dance.