Jung Min Lee's exhibit in the Mini Gallery of the Lee Art Center is well worth a visit. Lee's drawings, screenprints, and paintings combine abstraction with powerful emotions. Lee conveys emotions through eyes and bodily postures of chicks, teddy bears, and costumed figures. These are not just happy, cuddly animals, or persons enjoying costume play (cosplay). Lee's innocent figures show the experience of life's struggles, fears, and heartbreaks.
One work, entitled "Evolution," shows the development of a check from an egg. Early on, the chick's eyes are large, but then they shrink. The final chick in the sequence looks back indignantly.
I think that the masterpiece of the show is "Not Touching It..." This is a large, graphite and charcoal drawing with soft textures like dandelion fluff. In the midst of this flowering, pillowy beauty, a chick sits despondently, with one large eye staring out at the viewer. A dead black chick lies in front. It's a sad, sad image, but indescribably beautiful in its details.
All the pieces in the show, except for one, are for sale for prices from $150 to $1000. "Not Touching It...", priced at $900, would easily support another zero or two appended to that price. The one work not for sale is a wedding gift for one of Lee's friends. It shows two chicks together in a box in the world as Lee sees it. I don't doubt that they're glad to have each other.
Jung Min Lee's exhibition, "Cosplay," is showing at the Lee Arts Center through July 26, 2010. The Lee Arts Center is part of the Lee Community Center. It is on Lee Highway, a few blocks past its intersection with N. George Mason Dr.
Images: Jung Min Lee with friends, above hang Lee's works "Acceptance" and "Sister time"; Jung Min Lee's "Evolution" (one part of two piece work); Jung Min Lee's "Not Touching It...," with gallery viewers. All photos from opening night, June 3.