Art@Bainbridge | Threading Memories / MiKyoung Lee

Saturday, October 21, 2023 - Sunday, January 7, 2024
MiKyoung Lee (born 1970, Geoje, South Korea; active Philadelphia, PA and Harrisonburg, VA), Bubble #3, 2008. Pipe cleaners, 91.4 × 182.9 × 91.4 cm. Collection of the artist. © MiKyoung Lee

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

View an online gallery of works in this exhibition.

Download the exhibition brochure (PDF).

Art@Bainbridge is made possible through the generous support of the Virginia and Bagley Wright, Class of 1946, Program Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art; the Kathleen C. Sherrerd Program Fund for American Art; Joshua R. Slocum, Class of 1998, and Sara Slocum; Rachelle Belfer Malkin, Class of 1986, and Anthony E. Malkin; Barbara and Gerald Essig; Gene Locks, Class of 1959, and Sueyun Locks; and Ivy Beth Lewis. Additional support for this exhibition is provided by Nancy C. Lee, the P. Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art, the Department of East Asian Studies, and the Program in Asian American Studies.