Kierkegaard once wrote, "what is a poet? An unhappy person who conceals profound anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that as sighs and cries pass over them they sound like beautiful music." How can you truly appreciate something beautiful, if you've never experienced pain? Confronting the manifestations of my conflicting soul with the language of the arts, my anxiety allows me to tap into an inner understanding that others do not necessarily share. In demystifying the romantic notion of the "pained and tortured artist," I create art that is, above all others, a reflection of my interests and concerns of the world as an individual blessed with, but not defined by, my state of mind. The result is a continuing body of work that excites me as an artist and a thinker, that is highlighted but my anxiety but no longer necessarily about it.
In working with Winter Tangerine on Reshaping the Bell Jar, I'm excited to see a variety of works coming from artists and creative makers that face, and are reconciling, a challenge, and have used their unique perspective on the world to inform their artistry. I invite people to share their visual narratives and concerns, and see this opportunity as a way to showcase a conversation between creators.
Timothy Hyunsoo Lee is an artist born in Seoul, South Korea but living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Inspired by his background in neuroscience and cytology, his works are informed by his history of immigration, identity conflicts, and the anxiety that developed in him as a result. Using his personal narrative as a vector for exploring more universal concerns about creation and destruction, order and disorder, and of trauma and healing, he works in a variety of media but with a particular focus on watercolors and works on paper. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in venues such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Wallach Gallery of Columbia University, as well as at Casablanca, Dubai, Singapore, Madrid, Istanbul and India. He is currently represented by Sabrina Amrani Gallery in Madrid, Spain.