Category: In The Artist's Studio

Inspiration and Innovation: Hyunmee Lee


Hyunmee Lee was born in Seoul Korea, where she grew up practicing Western Modern Art with Eastern painting and calligraphy. Her art practice crosses three continents over two decades.  Her paintings are a mix of zen inspirations and innovative techniques. Color and the absence of color is an important element to Lee. She strives to achieve a balance and harmony by carefully placing color against a white background.  In the end, the result is delicate and simple yet strikingly vivid.



Each period of work has been an exercise in personal exploration and learning and preparation for another journey; that is a contemplation of the spirit as it embarks on to the canvas and a step toward “Big Mind”. Big Mind is a Buddhist concept of meditation resulting in a Zen like form of enlightenment and connectedness.  I have found freedom through this process, as I have been willing to accept my roles and take control of my life.  We all have a defined purpose, something that we were born to do, which gives our lives a meaningful direction.  The freedom I have in my work reflects the freedom I also feel in my own life. ”


I started painting when I was five. Since even as a child I knew it was going to be the focus of my energies. I used use oil paints for a long time. Then I started using both oil and acrylic paints. (1983-1992).  My recent works are acrylic paints and mixed media on canvas.  Using compounds, sand, rice paper and charcoals/ pastels are expending layers of surfaces and helping limits gestures.  Preparation of canvas needs about 10-15 layers of gesso mixing media and each painting needs quite a time to prepare before I start sketch on the canvas.”

Lee “Composing Me” Acrylic on Canvas 72 x 72 in.
Lee “Reaching Inland” Acrylic on Canvas 48 x 60 in.
Lee “Inland Crossing” Acrylic on Canvas 42 x 42 in.
Lee “Writeon” Acrylic on Canvas 72 x 72 in.