Isabel Lee // From Me to You

Artist Statement

As an artist, my work has allowed me to produce as a multidisciplinary thinker, maker, and communicator. Beyond the physicality of medium, much of my desire to make my work manifests in the nuances of human relationships and genuine experiences that I seek and recall in my own life. My most lasting work meanders around the elements of unspoken communication, intimate gestures, and quixotic quests.

Through performative sculpture, I pursue thinking and making through nontraditional materials, utilizing some form of human interaction in the process. Exploring my curiosity for relational and performative art, I’m interested in works that are exist through temporary installation and ephemeral experience rather than art objects that last forever. I seek out ways of making through in invisible exchanges that occur between people, which are often difficult to physically preserve and document.

As evidenced by both tangible and intangible works, I am interested in the idea of the gift, and the politics and economy surrounding the act of gift giving. With the generosity that a giver extends through a gift, for example, there is also a demand of the receiver to accept the gift, and reciprocate in some form. This invisible give and take, and the unspoken rules dictating our social interactions, feed into my work constantly. With an ongoing inquiry for the true meaning of empathy, my attraction to human interaction has developed into one of the most important parts of my art and life practice. The moments lingering in the overlap of both my life and art practices are those that I’m most drawn to.

Rachel Elder PictureIsabel Lee is a soon-to-be graduate of Sculpture & Extended Media with a minor in Media Studies at VCU. She first began to discover the value and necessity of personal research through both her artistic and academic pursuits, as a student of the Honors College and the School of the Arts. Her work revolves around a continuously developing interest in love, languages of care, and human connection – which exists within the overlap of her life and art practices. In the summer of 2016, she was awarded a Dean's International Study Grant to travel her home country of South Korea. There, she began a project about the manifestation of the self in Korean culture via public transportation, while continuing to soften the line between art research and life research.

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