Sooyeong Lee, Artist – Toronto

Sooyeong Lee is a Korean-born interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto. Inspired by her own journey of coping with uncertainty and trauma, Lee’s work stems from the practice of care and mindfulness. She examines everyday perishable objects and her surroundings, sometimes her habits, to investigate strength in their forms of changing, adapting, and aging. Lee holds a BFA in Sculpture and Installation from OCAD University and has exhibited and participated at residencies across Canada. Her first solo exhibition The Tangerine Project is at Access Gallery in Vancouver until April 8.

  1. Walking

Walking is my daily ritual to check in with myself through my senses. I bathe in the sounds of dogs, birds, and squirrels in spring. In winter I enjoy listening to my footsteps on packed snow. The sound of melting snow is beautiful too. During my recent visit to Vancouver this winter, I discovered a spot that smelled particularly delicious in the rain, like sweet moss and wet cedar.

  1. Finding humour around me

This illustrated portrait of a veggie family on a produce box never fails to make me giggle. They represent a happily blended family consisting of what appears to be a cauliflower mother, a cabbage father, and three children – cucumber, tomato, and pepper. I want to know more about this family.

  1. Courage

It takes courage to say “no.” It takes courage to say, “Could you repeat that please?” It takes courage to trust my gut feelings over my head. It takes courage to correct my name when it’s mispronounced.

  1. Thrifted vintage goods

Many of the vintage sweaters and handkerchiefs that I have collected over the years are a little worn, torn, and faded. You can see some of my rescued handkerchiefs in The Tangerine Project. They had served care for someone through sweat and tears, and it was an honour to include their stories of care.

  1. Embracing mistakes

I make
a lot