Experiments With Air and Light

Juyon Lee ’18

A photo portrait of Juyon Lee '18

Many alums say their lives were indelibly altered by their time at Wellesley, and for interdisciplinary artist Juyon Lee ’18 that is especially true. Born in South Korea, she moved to the United States at 10, when her mother, Sun-Hee Lee, began teaching Korean at the College. “The campus was kind of like my playground,” Juyon says. While her mother worked, she would “just go to Green Hall and sit around and do my own thing.”

As she grew older, Juyon became passionate about becoming an artist and decided to make it the focus of her studies. As she looked at art schools, Wellesley wasn’t on her list at first, but with time she came to see that a liberal arts education would enhance, not hinder, her artistic output. It would allow her to “think differently about art and how [I] see things,” Juyon says.

It turned out to be a great decision. Now a working artist in New York, Juyon credits the film classes she took with Prof. Eve Zimmerman for her Japanese minor and a first-year drawing class with professor of art Daniela Rivera with leading her where she is now. “In Daniela’s class we thought about what, how, and why. It really helped me think about how I approach research and culture,” she says.

Juyon approaches art with an educated, holistic worldview, and she does not limit herself to one particular medium. She makes multidimensional works composed of architectural elements, functional and nonfunctional objects, and ethereal materials like light and air.

Her experimental work has been well received and continues to evolve. After graduating from Wellesley, she earned an M.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University and soon landed artist residencies at some of the best-known programs in the country, including a prestigious Bronx Museum AIM Fellowship. This spring, Juyon’s series Wet Photographs was part of Lucent Refractions, a two-person exhibition with Maya Pollack at the Brooklyn, N.Y., gallery Putty’s Coronation.

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