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I imagine each piece I make is on its own journey, just like everything in Nature transforms in lineage of time & space.  I find peace and cope with turbulences and disappointments in life by decentering myself and accepting the fact that I am a tiny part of a larger cycle.  I get inspired by observing resilience and balance in precarious journeys of all existence in nature.  I construct forms using strips of clay catching the right time & dryness. The current body of works represents slow incubation of inner strength, cautious hope and resilience with optimism.  I create empty but charged space to articulate the hidden but incubated energy in nature which transforms and pushes everything through its journey.  






I was born & raised in South Korea and moved to the US as an adult.  My sculptures are embedded with my meditations on disappointments and rejections in life.  Searching for the purpose of existence became my life long quest as I realized the first disappointment of life: the invisible barriers as a female child in the chauvinistic culture I was born in.  I also faced unexpected obstacles and difficulties as an immigrant when I moved to the US.  I was hoping to become a new person but soon I realized I had to change how I see myself.


 I had a career as a designer in textile prints & home accessary industries and the exposure to the various mediums and manufacturing resources eventually lead me into ceramics and sculptures.  My work experience in creating my own product lines influences greatly in what I currently do.


Beginning of Journey

 I started ceramics at a local community art center as a hobby after getting married and moving to Massachusetts from California, while trying unsuccessfully to have children for 10 years.  I coped with hard times during the infertility treatments by focusing on making ceramics and gardening.  First, I held on to the Biblical women’s stories who conceived miraculously, just as many Christians do. But those miracles didn’t come to me for a long time. In my despair, I found Noah who was building a huge ark by himself while nobody understood or believed in him.  I saw myself in Noah and I started imagining his journey and inside of his ark.  I pretended to be Noah who carried his daily arduous labor for a long time.  I projected myself to clay, I cut clay slabs into strips and put together as forms.  The re-assembling process gave me sense of reconciliation and rebuilding myself.  The repetitive and meditative making produced the “Noah’s Ark” series in time. 

J. Gina Lee

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Artist Statement
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