The four-character idiomatic expression jeom jeok cheon seok can be translated as “dripping water eventually wears away stone.” Water drops falling from the eaves might seem trivial, but over time, stone is worn down and even sculpted by the persistent dripping of water. Acknowledging this, we recognize the dignity and power of water.
Like droplets of water that eventually carve stone, the materials used in Hyemin Lee’s work seem soft and fragile, yet collectively form powerful entities. Made from discarded bed linen and clothes, Lee’s small, vividly colored pillows evoke personal memories, dreams, and hopes. The individual pillows may seem inconsequential, but gathered together, they gain gravitas and significance.
Hyemin Lee’s recent installation work, entitled Entanglement, visualizes the complexity of life. The groupings of vividly colored pillows, facing up and down, resemble life itself, entangled in emotions, experiences, and relationships.
Another of her series, Waves, is a collection of plaster bandages shaped into lace-like waves. Plaster bandages are malleable when wet, but solid and unbreakable once dry. The artist takes advantage of the material’s trans-formative power to create the illusion of frail, delicate waves that are in fact both serene and strong.
Softness does not mean weakness.