Timothy Hyunsoo Lee (b.1990) is an artist born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in New York City, and currently lives and works between New York and Madrid, Spain. He was educated at Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT, USA) with a degree in neuroscience, drawing, and developmental biology.
As a first-generation immigrant in the United States, Timothy was uprooted from Seoul and transplanted into New York, where he developed a lasting anxiety attempting to reconcile his perceived and received identities – both culturally and racially. Trained in the laboratory sciences with a focus on behavioral neurobiology, Timothy approaches his art through an analytic lens yet his practice results in abstract conversations about transient lives and ephemeral states of being. As a result, his current body of work covers many themes – of racial politics, of migration, of death and legacy, and of sexuality.
His practice is rooted in an investigation into the rituals we adopt in confronting childhood traumas, and he uses his personal experiences as vectors for a universal narrative on physical, spiritual, and emotional loss. Timothy responds to objects or environments of his childhood obsessions and often uses repetition as a method of navigating the anxiety he developed from the immigration process – a pivotal point in his life when he felt he lost a part of his identity. He is interested in the religious and spiritual significance of counting, which is executed across paintings, sculptures, installations, and textiles, and through the action create what he calls “structures of salvation” in their passing – a nod to his upbringing in a clerical family. From manic drawings and text-based works, to soft sculptures and delicate watercolor paintings, Timothy imbues the materials of his labor with existential concern, and his works highlight the gestures of the past, the forming of legacy, and the salvation of (his) identity
Timothy’s works have been included in significant national and international exhibitions at venues such as the Smithsonian Institution (Washington DC, USA), The Wallach Gallery of Columbia University (New York), The Studio Museum (New York), The National YoungArts Foundation Gallery (Miami, FL) and in solo presentations at the 2018 Armory Show (New York) and the 2018 India Art Fair (New Delhi). His works and his practice have been featured and reviewed in EL MUNDO, Le Quotidien de l'Art, GALERIE MAGAZINE, ARTSY, The Art Newspaper, VOGUE India, AESTHETICA Magazine and the Harvard Advocate. He was recently commissioned by the MTA Arts & Design to create a public art project for their Stewart Manor LIRR station in Garden City, New York. His works are included in private and public collections around the world, including Facebook (Seattle, WA, USA), The MTA Arts & Design (New York), The Cleveland Clinic (Abu Dhabi, UAE), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York), The Basu Foundation for the Arts (Kolkata, India), and Foundation DOP (Caracas, Venezuela).
2021 Goldsmiths, University of London. Master of Arts. Computational Arts.
2012 Wesleyan University. Bachelor of Arts. High honors, Studio Art.
2012 Middletown, CT (USA). Biology. Studio Art (drawing). Neuroscience & Behavior.
2019 XOXO, comet boy. Sabrina Amrani Gallery, Madrid, Spain.
2016 No one dies alone. Sabrina Amrani Gallery, Madrid, Spain.
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.
2021 Nammu: Aquas Primordiales. Galería Aural, Madrid, Spain.
2021 BUM BUM BA YE [Under Pressure]. Sabrina Amrani. Madrid, Spain.
2021 Diaspora: times are changing. The Coral Springs Museum of Art, Coral Springs, Florida, USA.
2020 When The Globe is Home. Gallerie Delle Prigioni. Treviso, Italy.
2020 Cosas que nunca sucedieron aunque existen desde siempre (Inéditos 2020). La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain.
2020 Ver Versus Ver II. Sabrina Amrani, Madrid, Spain.
2020 CVA Emerging Artist Exhibition. Gallo Family Gallery, Strohl Art Center. New York, USA.
2020 Ver Versus Ver. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain.
2019 Within Interdependence. An exhibition of work by YoungArts alumni curated by Deana Haggag. National YoungArts Foundation Gallery. Miami, USA.
2018 DIY. Galerie Joseph Paris. Contempo Arts. Paris, France.
2018 Art Theorema #1. Salone Delgli Incanti, presented by Imago Mundi. Trieste, Italy.
2017 Harlem postcards. Studio Museum Harlem. NYC, USA
2016 Contained. Chashama Project Space. NYC, USA
2016 RCA Secret Dubai. In collaboration with Alserkal Avenue + Art Dubai. Dubai, UAE.
2016 Framing Religion – Connections and Conflicts. GB Stuart Gallery, Carlisle Arts & Learning Center. Carlisle, PA, USA.
2015 A Curious Blindness. Columbia University. New York, USA.
2015 The Journey. S. Dillon Ripley Center, The Smithsonian Institution. Washington DC, USA.
2014 La Forme Animale. Galerie Venise Cadre. Casablanca, Morocco. Curated by Zoulikha Bouabdellah.
2014 IEAA (International Emerging Artist Award) 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.
2020 ARCOmadrid. Sabrina Amrani. Madrid, Spain.
2020 Taipei Dandgai. Sabrina Amrani. Taipei, Taiwan.
2019 viennacontemporary. Sabrina Amrani. Vienna, Austria.
2019 ARCOmadrid. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain
2019 India Art Fair. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. New Delhi, India
2018 Artissima. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Turin, Italy
2018 The Armory Show, Sabrina Amrani Gallery (solo). New York, USA
2018 ARCOmadrid, Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain
2018 India Art Fair, Sabrina Amrani Gallery (solo). New Delhi, India
2017 ARCOmadrid, Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain
2017 India Art Fair, Sabrina Amrani Gallery. New Delhi, India
2016 ArtBo, Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Bogota, Colombia
2016 Art Brussels. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Brussels, Belgium
2016 Art Dubai. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Dubai, UAE
2015 ArtInternational. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Istanbul, Turkey
2015 ARCOmadrid. Sabrina Amrani Gallery (solo/duo). Madrid, Spain
2015 Art Stage Singapore. Sabrina Amrani Gallery (solo). Singapore
Awards & Residencies
2021 Nominee at Forecast Platform, Edition 6. Berlin, Germany.
2020 Artist-in-Residence. Chautaqua Institution School of Art. Chautauqua, New York, USA.
2019 Artist-in-Residence. Baccarat Factory Crystal Residency. YongArts. Baccarat, France
2017 Artist-in-Residence. The Basu Foundation for the Arts. Kolkata, India
2016 ChaNORTH. Chashama. Pine Plains, New York, USA
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 IEAA (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.
2021 Teaching Artist. Brooklyn Museum. New York, USA.
2021 Teaching Artist. Amazon, Creative Expressions Program. Seattle, USA.
2021 Teaching Artist. Gage Academy. Seattle, USA.
2021 Artist Talk. Gage Academy. Seattle, USA.
2019 Artist Talk. AHL Foundation. New York, USA.
2018 Come back home. A public art project commissioned by the MTA Art & Design and the Long Island Railroad for the LIRR Stewart Manor Station [Hempstead line] in Garden City, New York.
2018 1000 Attempts at a Reconciliation. India Art Fair. Solo projects. Presented by Sabrina Amrani. Madrid, Spain.
2017 Annual Foundraiser Auction. Christies Auction House. Asia Art Archive. Hong Kong.
2017 Public Art Commission. The MTA of New York. Stuart Manor Station (LIRR). Garden City, New York, USA.
OCULUS VR. Facebook (Seattle, USA)
COLECCION D.O.P. Fundacion D.O.P. (Caracas, Venezuela; Paris, France; Madrid, Spain)
FUNDACION DOP. Caracas, Venezuela
MTA ARTS & DESIGN. The Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York (New York, USA)
THE SOCIETY AT MSKCC. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York, USA)
IMAGO MUNDI COLLECTION. Supported by Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche (Treviso, Italy)
BASU FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS. Kolkata, India.
CLEVELAND CLINIC ABU DHABI. Abu Dhabi, UAE
TP CONTEMPORARY. London, UK
APT Institute, New York, USA.
The Society at MSKCC, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA.
2016 WIDEWALLS. Timothy Hyunsoo Lee’s exhibition at Sabrina Amrani brings a new kind of optimism
2016 ARTSY Editorial. At Sabrina Amrani, Timothy Hyunsoo Lee contemplates Serenity and Death
2016 Periodistas (Es). Timothy Hyunsoo Lee: Nadie muere solo
2015 Nomadic Press. Artist and Mental Illness Interview Series: Timothy Hyunsoo Lee
2015 ARTSY. Precision and Instability in Timothy Hyunsoo Lee’s Mind Maps
2015 Artitute. Reflections on Art Stage Singapore: Timothy Hyunsoo Lee
2014 Duas Arte Contemporáneo. double-sided de Timothy Hyunsoo Lee
2014 ARTSY. Art to Exorcise: Timothy Hyunsoo Maps his Mind with Watercolor
2018 Seeking Beauty: Timothy Hyunsoo Lee. GALERIE MAGAZINE, 2018 Summer Issue (New York)
2018 Names you should know at Armory. THE ART NEWSPAPER, ARNORY SHOW 2018 ISSUE (New York)
2016 Danger. THE HARVARD ADVOCATE, 150 TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE (Cambridge, MA, USA)
2015 A Curious Blindness. COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY (New York)
2015 The Journey. THE KENNEDY CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS (Washington DC, USA)
2014 La Forme Animale. GALERIE VENISE CADRE (Casablanca, Morocco)
2013 Spring Anthology: 100 Contemporary Artists. AESTHETICA MAGAZINE (London, UK)