Timothy Hyunsoo Lee (born 1990, South Korea), is an emerging Korean-American artist working in Brooklyn, New York, USA. His love for drawing began as a child, but his decision to pursue art professionally happened during his last year as a Biology, Drawing, and Neuroscience major at Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT). Drawn to the studio, and the creative process of making art, Timothy withdrew his ambitions of attending medical school and rented a studio in Williamsburg upon graduation, where he currently works.
Hyunsoo Lee’s works are inspired by themes of social stigma, identity, psychological disorders, and more recently, of spirituality and religion. He explores these themes through a novel vector – paintings and sculptures consisting largely of cell-like marks that vary in size, color, and saturation. His works are seen as ethereal and delicate, but the extremely labor-intensive compositions, marked by intensely obsessive repetitions, quickly betray that initial perception. Exploring his own history of anxiety disorders through his art, Timothy confronts and manipulates his tics and compulsions and channels them into his works. In responding to his anxiety with art, he has developed a novel system of mind-mapping – “a cartography of his psychopathology” – to study a part of himself that initially drew him to study developmental biology and neuroscience in college.
The artist works almost exclusively in watercolour and gouache, and prefers this medium over other paints and marking systems due to watercolor’s unstable nature. Mastering watercolor primarily involves understanding the pigment’s interaction with water, and the solution’s interaction with its surface, and every application of paint will result in a different mark. Thus, watercolor prevents him from “fussing” over trivial details in his works.
Timothy’s first solo exhibition, “Traces”, was exhibited at Wook & Lattuada Gallery, New York, USA, in 2013. Since then, he has also exhibited regionally at the Scholastic Inc. Store in SoHo, 2013; at Hundred Forsyth Gallery in the LES, 2013, and internationally at York St. Mary’s in York, UK, 2013; and at the Pink Art Fair in Seoul, South Korea, 2014. He been honored by organizations such as the Aesthetica Art Prize, The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and the National YoungArts Foundation. Timothy was the 2014 recipient of the VSA Emerging Young Artist Award given by the Kennedy Center (Washington DC, USA), as well as the International Emerging Artist Award in Dubai.
CV - TIMOTHY HYUNSOO LEE
2014 double-sided. Sabrina Amrani Gallery, Madrid, Spain.
2013 Works on Paper. Scholastic Inc. Store, New York, USA.
2013 Traces. Wook & Lattuada Gallery, New York, USA.
2012 Secretive skin. Ezra & Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, USA.
2015 A Curious Blindness. Columbia University. New York, USA.
2014 Animal Form. Galerie Venise Cadre. Casablanca, Morocco. Curated by Zoulikha Bouabdellah.
2014 The Journey. S. Dillon Ripley Center, The Smithsonian Institution. Washington DC, USA.
2014 International Emerging Artist Award Winners Exhibition, Dubai, UAE.
2014 Me Myself & I, Runnels Gallery, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, NM, USA.
2013 Vacation Days , Hundred Forsyth Gallery, New York, USA.
2013 Aesthetica Art Exhibition, York St. Mary’s, York, UK.
2012 Studio Art Thesis Group Exhibition, Ezra & Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, USA.
2012 Swerved, South Gallery, Wesleyan University Center for the Arts, Middletown, CT, USA.
2015 ARCOmadrid. Sabrina Amrani Gallery
2015 Art Stage Singapore. Sabrina Amrani Gallery (solo show)
2014 Pink Art Fair Seoul, Wook & Lattuada Gallery, Seoul, South Korea.
2014 First Prize, The VSA Emerging Young Artists Program, sponsored by The Kennedy Center and The Volkswagen Group of America. Washington DC, USA.
2014 Honorable Mention, [Me, Myself & I] juried exhibition. Runnels Gallery, Eastern New Mexico University. Portales, NM, USA.
2014 International Emerging Artist Award, 3rd Edtion. Dubai.
2013 Art.Write.Now.Pop-Up! Artist-in-Residence Program, The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers/Scholastic Inc., New York, USA.
2013 National Art Educator Medal, The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, New York, USA.
2013 Invited participating artist, Artist Pension Trust (APT) - Global One trust, New York, USA.
2012 Long-listed artist (Painting & Drawing), Aesthetica Art Prize, London, UK.
2012 Elizabeth Verveer Tishler Award, Wesleyan University Department of Art & Art History, Middletown, CT, USA.
APT Institute, New York, USA.
The Society at MSKCC, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA.