Friday December 10 at 5pm, 2010
December 10 till 25, 2010
CEAC, Xiamen, China
The Chinese-European Art Center is pleased to present “Two waters”, an exhibition of new work by New York-based artist Sandra Eula Lee. In her work, Lee uses a variety of approaches, including handmade sculpture, found objects, and photography, finding details from her surroundings that can be combined to reveal the intimate aspects or cross-cultural experiences in daily life.
A Korean-American artist, Lee reflects upon the legacies of the Korean War in her project “Two waters”. Originally born in northern Korea, Lee’s parents migrated to the south during the wartime, enduring the separation of families that resulted from the country’s division. Photographs included in the exhibition depict mountainous ridges where major battles occurred, such as “Heartbreak Ridge”, stripped of all signs of life, where U.S., French, North Korean, and Chinese casualties numbered high.
Echoes of division and the spaces between, run through the work both conceptually and formally, such as “Split mountain”, a sculpture comprising a large pile of weathered rocks divided by a delicate triangular pane of glass. In the collage, “Deep waters (Pacific)”, the vast body of water lying between continents is depicted, created from hundreds of pieces of Korean newspaper torn by hand.
Lee spent much of the past two years in Korea where construction is rampant and new structures are being made on a daily basis. During her time in China, she continued to see widespread demolition and a fast-changing landscape. Works on view include materials from this altered landscape, such as rubble collected from construction sites, pvc tubing, and sea-weathered rocks— construction rubble, bricks, and concrete—washed ashore and collected on the beaches of Xiamen.
Lee sees this landscape as a combination of natural and man-made elements. Informed by the traditional gardens in China and Korea, a central element of “Two waters” can be found in the dark ponds that provide areas of reflection and contemplation. The ponds are fragmented and portable, reflecting as well as breaking the view.