Tell us about yourself!
Hi! My name is Jubee Lee. I grew up in the ocean city of Busan, South Korea and lived there about 23 years since I was born. My family and I traveled around Europe for about two months when I was 13 and that was where I first met glass in Murano, Italy. I had never seen people working with glass in person before and was just fascinated by that movement and atmosphere at first sight. Since then, I had dreamed of learning glass and finally came to the United States to study abroad. I earned a BFA with honors studying glass at Southern Illinois University, where I met my glass teacher and mentor Jiyong Lee, who first helped me step into this field. I am continuing my MFA studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. I have training in both 2-D and 3-D materials. Although I mainly focus on glass, I also have a strong interest in painting, illustration, and printing and use my own 2-D images as inspiration.
What themes do you pursue in your work?
I am working to express the encounter between the things that are visible with those that are invisible. The work focuses on the internal and external experience of the viewer by evoking mood change, through the aesthetic appreciation. My recent contemplative painting sculpture ‘Resonance’ is a semi-abstracted and atmospheric work that allows the viewer to draw associations with their own imagined landscapes. Hopefully this results in an emotional and meditative response. Growing up in an ocean city, water has been the most powerful earth element to affect my state of mind, becoming the most potent muse for my art. I pursue traditional fine art such as drawing, watercolor, and oil painting, but I am still finding that the realization and tangibility of my work in glass has allowed me to fuse my two-dimensional sensibility outward into three-dimensional space.
What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
For me, the possibilities expand and the ideas grow when my feelings are captured in a gesture, which in this case focuses on the potential of the medium of glass. My interests connect naturally to this material by finding the confluence between what it manifests visually and its invisible characteristics. I think that because glass has such an inherent immaterial materiality, it is often seen as cold and clinical. One might be put off by its properties. I have found quite the opposite to be true. For me, it can embody the warmest, softest, and friendliest material to engage with. By focusing so completely and entirely on the fabrication process, I have grown to cherish the dialogue I continue to have with glass.
What is your dream project?
My dream project would be applying my large sculpted glass panels in architecture. I'd like to have a show with a huge installation of my work using floors, walls and ceiling of the place. I dream that my artwork would manifest as a tangible yet mutable poem, which can have a serene, positive, and calming effect.
Why are you a member of GAS?
Being a member of GAS gives me the wonderful and crucial opportunity to continually get inspired by interesting and talented people from all over the world. I feel like I have more ideas and thoughts coming to my mind and my passion grows every time I return home after attending the GAS conference.