Interview with Yojae Lee

Interview  /  ArtistsBehind the Scenes
Published: 11.04.2016
Interview with Yojae Lee.
Edited by:
Edited at:
Edited on:
Yojae Lee. Brooch: Insects_ earwig, 2014. Frog’s skin, shell,  sterling silver, polymer clay. 21 x 27 x 8.5 cm. Object. Yojae Lee
Brooch: Insects_ earwig, 2014
Frog’s skin, shell,  sterling silver, polymer clay
21 x 27 x 8.5 cm
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I want to make, I try to talk directly with my work.
What do you expect when exposing your work to the public (for example with an exhibition)?
There is nothing special I expect of the public. However, I am just always concerned about how my work combined with two elements, which are negatively thought, is shown to them, for my work is to make insects using animals' skins as a major material. Sometimes the public tell me my works are very interesting, but they often ignore them by reason that they are scary or detestable. I didn't intend to make my works beautiful or scary, however, the public just see them with their own eyes. I think it very interesting and fun. Whenever I have an exhibition, I work expecting those showing various reactions.

A place, space, country whose creativity surprises me...
The trail near my house teems with old trees. Walking this trail, I can see a variety of plants and insects. I have a habit of closely observing even a little thing, that I watch intently even dead bodies of insects. This gives me inspiration to study many forms.

Is there any designer, jeweller, artist, you appreciate a lot?
Dong chun Lee is one of most influential contemporary jewellers and professor I admire. He is an artist who makes ceaseless attempts and explorations of experimental materials and varied forms. Especially, he gives a very fantastic and originative lecture, Research on Technique and Material, in Kookmin University. Through this course, I could also have chances to meet a variety of materials to experiment, and I could find the material I use now. He taught me how to get rid of my prejudice of materials and to look at objects from various angles. Remembering his question he threw me in the first class, Must an jewelly be beautiful?, I work even now agonising over this.

Dong chun Lee
Brooch, Shadow, 2015
Wood, string, zinc galvanized steel, nickel silver
12.5 x 10.5 x 4.5 cm

What piece or work has given you the most satisfaction?
All my works! My work is to make parts of insects with various materials. Though I intend to make an insect, there is not a complete form until I combine each part. So I always work with a doubt that it can be completed. However, when it is completed into its own image, I feel the most satisfaction.

Do you read Jewellery Magazines? What is your source to get information?
Sometimes I read magazines such as Metalsmith or Craft, but usually I see websites Klimt02, because they are easily accessible and I can check exhibitions or updates of many artists' works.

Do you discuss your work with other jewellery artists or any other person?
Well, I don't have special talks with others about my works. Spreading out materials and forms I want to make, I try to talk directly with my work.

What is your first thought when you hear the word Future? What do you expect for?
The future symbolizes to me both hope and anxiety, for there's nothing determined. Nonetheless, I hope that people can remember me as a jeweler even in 10 or 20 years and that I will be working as a jeweler.