Flagstaff artist Jaewook Lee’s work takes inspiration from brain science to examine the human condition—how we are connected to a greater network, and how we come to form a sense of self.
Jaewook Lee is an artist, writer, amateur scientist, semi-philosopher, sometimes curator, and founder and director of Mindful Joint, an annual symposium that focuses on non-hierarchical knowledge sharing in contemporary art.
“My work examines the condition of the human being as an interconnected part of the more extensive system of a network. I take inspiration from brain science, focusing on how we use multiple senses, memory, and the power of imagination to form a sense of self with other parts of the world. I speculate how the human brain encounters our surroundings beyond our linguistic and semiotic understanding of the world. My work attempts to emphasize a new vision of the human being as a node of connections among seemingly disparate actors of the world.
I combine philosophy, research, and various artistic and non-artistic media that speak to the interdisciplinary nature of art today. Using a range of media such as installation, video, drawing, text, and performance, I present how different media and disciplines join together to generate a flow of meanings through a network of connections. This flow creates intersections between the traditional sphere of art and what lies outside that boundary. The intersections make patterns that link different fields of knowledge. This notion stems from my definition of an artist in the post-conceptual, post-studio, and interdisciplinary era where no single discipline, style, or genre prevails.”
In the experimental documentary film project Treatise on Rhythm, Color, and Birdsong, Lee combines disciplines of cognitive neuroscience, music, and visual art. The project re-interprets 20th-century French composer Olivier Messiaen, who is known for his unusual connections between musical and non-musical sources such as birdsong, synesthesia, and color theory. Treatise on Rhythm, Color, and Birdsong seeks a new artistic expression based on recent scientific evidence on sound-color synesthesia.
Lee received MFAs from Carnegie Mellon University and the School of Visual Arts.
Flagstaff, AZ | jaewooklee.com | ig: @jaewookleeart