The foundation of MiKyoung Lee’s art was shaped by an early fascination with textiles used in her childhood homes in Korea—domestic fabrics made with long-used techniques and forms. Threading Memories / MiKyoung Lee explores memories—from the artist’s childhood and from later chapters of her life—that she visually expresses through her textile art practice. By twisting and knotting, a method akin to weaving, Lee uses common, mass-produced products such as pipe cleaners, zip ties, and twist ties to create dynamic, lush large-scale sculptures as well as intimate two-dimensional, wall-mounted works. The meditative nature of these techniques allows Lee to reflect on and catalogue her memories as she creates; open cavities in many of her works provide metaphorical spaces in which viewers can place their own memories for private contemplation and reflection. By the very nature of the material she uses, Lee’s work is also grounded in the present, as it speaks to the tension inherent between the natural world and synthetic, human-made materials and substances.
Curated by Zoe S. Kwok, Nancy and Peter Lee Associate Curator of Asian Art