Philadelphia artist Mi-Kyoung Lee is known for creating sculptural forms using common materials such as thread, pipe cleaners, plastic netting, zip ties, and twist ties. Lee’s labor-intensive work is process driven as each artwork consists of thousands of knots and twists that bind the massive amounts of material into a singular structure.
Lee’s abstract often biomorphic forms are inspired by nature and its occurring patterns, textures, shapes, and abundant growth. Like nature, Lee’s large-scale imagery is nurtured over time. Slowly, knot-by-knot and twist-by-twist, the form emerges and takes shape. In Yellow Forest, Lee has used industrial plastic twist ties to create a vertical field of color and texture that resembles a living wall. The vine-like growth is exotic in its mass and detail yet invasive in its dense plasticity. Her use of artificial materials to simulate nature is deliberate and representative of society’s dual reverence for nature and the ever-present plastic environment that we live in.
Mi-Kyoung Lee is an associate professor of Crafts and Material Studies and coordinator of Fibers at The University of the Arts, Philadelphia. Her work is represented by Snyderman-Works Galleries, Philadelphia.