sophia lee

My work is about creating the movement of organic forms and patterns inspired by nature. Material curated from refuse often drives the approach of the projects I pursue. The man-made and natural world informs the themes, colors, and composition in the work itself. As an artist of two cultural backgrounds, Taiwanese and American, I am constantly marrying the duality in my work. The calligraphic gestures of traditional painting are my brush strokes, even when using bean pods, collecting coffee lids, painting murals or weaving plastics.
For the series, Seams of the Fog, the collage under painting is composed of junk mail, plastic, foil, and cosmetics packaging. I hand cut them into shapes then collage into a pattern that is buried under layers of bees wax and pigment. What is hidden becomes less important than what is revealed, like the fog. There is a tension between the hazy uncertainty of the surface and the intentional, well-defined seams. the etched lines are the aerial cartography of ancient memories.
In Flotsam and Jetsam series, I stitch, embroider, or weave plastic “yarns” into paintings. Weaving, since ancient times, has always been woman’s work. It’s an act of creating and providing. Here I deconstructed the plastic bags and re-made them into abstract paintings, using the weave itself to dictate the colors and patterns.
In my attempt to become a zero-waste artist, I use the scraps from the above two projects to make a series of small works, Luminous Space. The scraps are cut into even smaller “confettis” and form abstract paintings with amazing texture and light. Some are embedded into the encaustics to hide and reveal the textures. It’s a study inspired by the light of the sky as it touches the horizon of the Pacific Ocean.
When the paintings are shown together, the theme of the sea becomes evident. I celebrate the beauty and power of the water. It gives and takes lives and its currents shapes the earth. Beneath this joy and wonder lies a darker layer of anxiety I have of our impact on the environment.

drake painting 1.jpg

Seams of the Fog, Euphotic

drake painting 1.jpg

Luminous Space: June gloom

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