Mire Lee’s (b. 1988) works defy categorization, yet they are idiosyncratic, exuding energy that is entropic and full of polarizing, enticing and nauseating sentiments. Unsightly yet inexplicably sensational, Lee’s work challenges notions of selfhood, social acceptability, and cleanliness; obliterating societal conventions of aesthetics and desire in the face of her orgasmic, transgressive and kinetic technologies. Towels, chains, clay, silicon hoses, and steel structures coalesce to form an organism that is haptic, primordial, and yet highly mechanized.
In works like Carriers, tentacular appendages amidst a milky rain of glycerin activate a sense of deeply personal indiscretion within the viewer, their projections of vorarephilia functioning as an emblem of solidarity with the increasingly suffocating realities of the anthropocene, consequences of a carnal, insatiable desire for power. Her sculptural vocabulary, between the realms of machinery and viscera, inhabits an ambiguous, eclectic environment, free of inhibitions yet entirely cognizant of the unspoken boundaries at play.
Mire Lee lives and works between Seoul, South Korea and Amsterdam, Netherlands. She has earned a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Sculpture (2012) and a graduate degree in media art (2013) at the Seoul National University College of Fine Arts. Her recent solo exhibitions include Carriers at Art Sonje Center, Seoul (2020), words were never enough, Lily Roberts, Paris (2020), Het is of de stenen spreken, Casco Art Institute, Utrecht (2019) and War is Won by Sentiment Not by Soldiers, Insa Art Space, Seoul (2014).
Lee’s work was also featured in a number of group exhibitions including presentations at Kunstverein Freiburg, Freiburg (2021), Het HEM, Zaandam (2021), Marwan, Amsterdam (2020), Antenna Space, Shanghai (2020), Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah (2019), 15 Biennale de Lyon, Lyon (2019), Gwangju Biennale Pavilion Project, Gwangju Civic Center, Gwangju (2018), Arko Art Center, Seoul (2017), and Seoul Museum of Arts, Seoul (2016). She took part in residencies at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam (2018); Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA Nanji Residency) (2017), Cité internationale des arts, Paris (2015), and was recently shortlisted for the 2021 Future Generation Art Prize.