Masthead - line only
JJ Lee BFA '92

My paintings connect and re-interpret Western and Chinese painting traditions. I appropriate colonial, scientific, historical and medical images from textiles, botanical illustrations, advertising and acupuncture charts to create undefined environments.These diverse sources signify the barrage and collision of disparate ideas of twenty-first century life. Through this process I look at the intersection of culture and hybrid identities. The European still life genre, such as the “memento mori”, encompasses ideas of the transience of life and of illusion.  Traditional Chinese bird-and-flower paintings are also symbolically rich.  By referencing trompe l’oeil techniques and flat ornamental patterning simultaneously I’m also playing with different definitions of space.
By exploring the construction of the image I’m also exploring how much we dissect and analyze gender, race and other categories of identification. The trust that we put into scientific ‘truths’ and systems of classification are thereby challenged.  My images address notions of history and culture, beauty, desire and identity. The end result is personal, historical, aesthetic and rooted in many truths and fictions.


Chickadee, encaustic on wood, 24" x 24", 2008


Quinces, wax, oil, collage on wood. 20" x 20". 2007

Citri Immaturi, oil on cotton, 36" x 42", 2005