Since relocating to Paris from Seoul more than twenty years ago, Seulgi Lee has consistently endeavored to make a strong investigation into a physical language of forms that recalls something folkloric but is utterly contemporary in her translation. Lee’s unique artistic practice are immediately recognizable for its use of color, gesture, simple yet elegant forms, and performance. In spite of (or perhaps linked to) its deference to bright, cheerful color, Lee has described her sculptural practice as utilitarian, invariably related to the power, fragility, and contingency of the body: her works are tools, to be available at-hand, used by those who are nearby. Culled from everyday belongings, masks, and pedestrian objects, these artworks frequently employ a vocabulary more readily used to describe craft, and challenge arbitrary distinctions between mannered, formal sculptural syntax and a more popularized design or craft aesthetic.
Collaborating with master nubi artisans from Tongyeong, a port in the South Korea, where the technique has been well developed for hundreds of years, Seulgi Lee started Blanket Project U, begun in 2014. In the Basket Project U, Lee produced the works in association with female basket weavers in Mexica, Oaxaca, while became aware of a disappearing language, Ixcateco. Like this, Lee Seulgi engaged the proverbs, or shamanism that reflects wisdom of certain community into everyday objects. The works caught the eye of the creative directors of the fashion house Hermes leading to collaborations on limited edition blankets telling the story of proverbs which, in turn, led to further blanket projects with IKEA in 2019.
Seulgi Lee was born in Seoul, and has lived and worked in Paris since 1992. She studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Her art is characterized by a uniquely humorous take, geometric patterns, and lively colors, all contributing to the reinterpretation of banal objects in everyday life into artwork that poses questions towards things considered mundane. Seulgi Lee participated in major international exhibitions such as Burning Down The House (Gwangju Biennale, 2014), Intense Proximity (La Triennial, Palais de Tokyo, 2012), Evento (Biennale de Bordeaux, 2009), Annual Report (Gwangju Biennale, 2007) amongst others. She recently served as resident artist at the L’Appartement 22 culture centre in Rabat, Morocco in 2019.