Jennie Jieun Lee
Immigrant's Ear

date_from 17/03 — 16/04/2016

This is Jennie Jieun Lee’s first solo exhibition in Brussels. For "Immigrant’s Ear", she will be introducing her new slipcast busts and abstract masks of psychological landscapes.
The title for the show originates from a quote from the late film director, Mike Nichols. He uses it to describe his own experience of moving to America at a young age and having to develop a keener sense of intuition to assimilate in a new country.
“The extra ear that tells you what else is happening aside from what people are saying, is a very useful thing. You’ve digested a new language and culture and made it more expressive in some way.
You’re forever looking at something as someone who just got here.
As pencil marks dissolve into waves of glazes on porcelain and stoneware, I am investigating the journey of stepping into a completely fresh moment in time and experiencing utter fear and horror as well as trying to find some type of beauty and peace with the unfamiliar moment.
It has to do with death, birth, moments and fear.

- How did you learn ceramic technique in the first place?

“When I moved to NYC from Seoul, Korea, my mother took me to a ceramic class and there I made my first mask. I believe this was my way of trying to understand my new environment and how I fit there.
In college at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is where I began teaching myself how to throw on the pottery wheel.

- Have you started directly with this unconventional style, or have you had to master more traditional shapes first.

“I began working with slabs 3 years ago to make the masks while continuing to practice throwing vessels on the wheel.
If I had more time, I would practice various shapes more but lately, I throw large vessels and then cut and collage them together as sculptures.

- You are currently working on 3 types of ceramics objects: masks, ceramics heads, vase or vessels and also on painting.
How are these practice related to each others?

“If my practice was a car, the paint would be the gas and the masks would be the road and the new busts are the destination.

- You art deals with monstrosity and deformity. What is the link between precious ceramic and twisted monsters?

“To me ceramics is not precious. I step on it and break it all the time. I always think about people who scour the rivers to collect shards of ancient pottery. I think they are called Mudlarkers. I use ceramics as my primary medium because it will be here far longer than we will.
It’s not biodegradable and I think the future will relate with my faces, especially because agony/beauty is timeless.