Youngjoo Lee

Published: 17.05.2021


I am a jeweler based in Seoul, Korea. I graduated from Konkuk University's Department of Crafts in Seoul and obtained a master's degree in metal crafts and jewelry from Seoul National University. After that, I have been teaching at various universities and have participated in various exhibitions and fairs in Korea and abroad. I am interested in the relationship between objects and express the artist's time through repetitive density. Identity and difference are established in the relationship with others, and I can finally become myself. I want to talk about the essence of things in the time and space of creation.


In my work, there were constant concerns about “relationships”. The word that everything is relative is not only visible to the eye, but it is also a definition that determines you, the outside, and the existence itself. Identity and difference are established in the relationship with others, and I can finally become myself. In my previous work, this relationship was embodied in a form with intense color and volume by transferring this relationship to nature and light. Color is light, and volume is the maximal expression of natural energy.

I used paper as the main material for lightness in size, weight, and vivid color. The brilliant colors and rich forms in my work are reminiscent of very active expressions, but in fact, I’m the other who watch it and the wearer or the viewer in my works. I have been working with a desire to get healing through myself integrated with nature and to share the energy of life. I express nature and time through the texture of paper rolled up and stacked. My hands relate to physical properties, experience the world, think, and lead me to the unknown world. But at some point, I realize that admiring nature is not because of its serenity, but rather because it is the moment and place that defines me in isolation from the outside. My work being classified and perceived as a description of a specific color, material, or appearance can be useful for imprinting the work to the public, but sometimes it acts as an obstacle to expressing the underlying meaning...

From the series of “With fallen leaves”, I gradually removed the depiction of the appearance, and tried to keep the material's natural color. Ultimately, a medium that connects them is always needed to build the form of repetition in which units are wound and stacked. And since there is a limit to maintaining the shape and color of the strong main material, such as thread, resin, adhesives, silicone, and lacquer, solving this point has always been my homework. I have long studied methods of excluding the medium of connection and spherical as the structure of the main material, and for that purpose, I have captured the structure of various textiles, knitting, and puzzles.
The time of work always repeats conviction and uncertainty, and when one is solved, another homework is encountered, and the work changes repeatedly during the process and attempt to solve it... The play of the structure can be very flexible or vice versa depending on the direction. Shapes whose starting point is unknown repeats curvature by centrifugal force, creating a sense of volume. It's like a Kanon's tune. The same type of repetition draws the curvature of music and time.

CV      View / hide description

On sale at      View / hide description

Events      View / hide events

Exhibition  17 Dec 2020 - 09 Jan 2021  Absolutely Abstract.

Publications      View / hide publications

Book:  Showcase 500 Rings. New Directions in Art Jewelry. Metcalf, Bruce; Le Van, MartheLark Books:  Asheville,  2023
Newspaper:  Munhwa Newspaper, "Helping your mind with abstract crafts_Absolutely abstract". Munhwa Newspaper:  Seoul,  2020
Magazine:  Sulwhasoo, vol.78. Sulwhasoo Magazine:  Seoul,  2018
Magazine:  Craft+Design, no.33 "Craft Ornaments". KCDF:  Seoul,  2018
Magazine:  Sulwhasoo, vol.80. Sulwhasoo Magazine:  Seoul,  2017
Magazine:  Tongin Art "Artist story" Spring issue. Tongin Art:  Seoul,  2016
Magazine:  Craft+Design, no.12 "From nature". KCDF:  Seoul,  2015
Magazine:  Craft+Design, no.15 "KCDF Now". KCDF:  Seoul,  2015
Magazine:  Luxury Augest issue "Wearing Paper". Luxury Magazine:  Seoul,  2013
Book:  500 Silver Jewelry Designs :The Powerful Allure of a Precious Metal. Lark Books:  North Carolina,  2011