I’ve got another paper artist for you guys this week, artist Bovey Lee from Pittsburgh. It’s not surprising that I’ve discussed two paper artists in a row; while many crafts have yet to receive respect as modern art, paper cutting and crafting has quickly become popular in the art world. Since paper and two dimensional surfaces have been the crux of art for thousands of years, this makes a lot of sense. Unlike last week’s artist, however, Bovey Lee works entirely in 2-dimensional cuts rooted in Chinese calligraphy and attention to detail. I’ve been interested in Chinese rice paper cuts for years (I have a vintage one on my wall right now!) and it’s fascinating to see Lee take it to the next level.
Lee’s work combines her interest in detail and subtlety with a concern for modernization and the affects of humanity on nature. Using only Chinese rice paper and an Exacto knife, Lee creates these large, incredibly intricate works which imply classical forms (including her recent Chinese vase series) embellished with images of modern life and nature intertwined. The work allows plays of light and shadow, reality and fiction, and a constant understanding of fragility – both in the work and in life – all combined. Through the combination of Chinese specific references and human-wide concerns, the works touch each viewer in very different yet still valid ways.
As would be expected, Lee’s work has received a ton of recognition for its beauty and cultural significance. Coming to the US in 1993 as a painter, she received an MFA at both the University of California at Berkeley and Pratt Institute in NYC (my alma mater!!!). Her works have been shown at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Museum Bellerive, Museum of Fine Arts Beijing, and Museum Rijswijk, among others. Many works are also permanently in the collections at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford University; Hong Kong Museum of Art; BNY Mellon Corporate Art Collection; Fidelity Corporate Art Collection; Progressive Corporate Art Collection; and The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Definitely go check out Bovey Lee’s website for more beautiful imagery and paper projects. Her portfolio is amazingly extensive and is lovely to sift through. As always, its wonderful to see traditional handicrafts and art approaches used in such an intricate and modern way. Perhaps this is good inspiration to all you crafters that your work can be as ambitious as you could ever imagine.
Check back soon for more simply DIY’s, and remember
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: All images copyright 2012 Bovey Lee and are used here under fair use guidelines for discussion and promotion.