iAiR: Cheon Pyo Lee

clee1. small sizeThe School of Art at Montana State University is pleased to announce  MSU School of Art International Artist-in-Residence: Cheon Pyo Lee at the Helen E. Copeland located on the second floor of Haynes Hall, Bozeman MT. Lee will lecture on his work in the gallery on Tuesday, October 30th from 4:30 -5:30 with time for questions afterwards. The public reception will follow immediately afterwards from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.  Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Cheon Pyo Lee is a New York-based artist whose multidisciplinary practice is grounded in notions of absurdity, play, and experimentation. At the heart of Lee’s work is a mischievous but resolute desire to subvert systemic notions of value and authenticity through personal encounters and experiences. Definitely a departure from the normal Bozeman fare, this is not an exhibition to be missed.  

clee2.jpgThere is a lot of pressure to create a full exhibition in the HECG in one month’s time, but the local area always prove to be inspiring– too inspiring if anything.  It can be hard to nail down a focus with so many possibilities for subject matter. Every iAiR that comes to MSU takes something different from the Montana experience, placing what is unique about the state in a new, fresh, contemporary light, bringing something to the Bozeman art scene that is unique, with an outsider perspective on what we consider standard Montana ways of life.

clee4. smallWhereas past artists have focused on landscapes and horses, in his time in Montana, Lee has gone tracking and hunting with locals which has been the main focus of his piece in the gallery.  He has become enamored with the art of hunting and field dressing, likening it to a dance. Lee’s installation will include video projections and short films made during his time here, ceramic pieces organized like Dutch still-lifes created by Lee and ceramic students, and smaller pieces and installations.  There will also be discussions about his latest book, Alibi of Autonomy, two stories that were written by fellow artists, based on photographs and receipts from Lee’s residencies in Wales and Basel.

According to Lee, “I work in a variety of mediums depending what impeding project requires, what matters most to me is to understand the different set of value systems that Art is. The desire is to expose myself to new environments where I can be intrigued to subject matters that demand an immediate response. In doing this I feel my works can function as an alibi of my autonomy.”

clee5.jpgIn Lee’s perspective, the artist who doesn’t produce primarily for the market, the artist who wants to maintain a certain autonomy in his or her artistic production, is dependent on ‘residencies’ in order to produce new work. Residence is also an obligation to move to another place. In this sense, the artist-in-residence is in the first place a migrant in order to be able to become an artist-in-residence. Embracing the fate of a migrant as a new mode of artistic production Lee presents works produced or collaborated during his residencies, and travels. The exhibition in the Helen E. Copeland Gallery is part video screening, part installation through which  Lee constructs a fragmented narrative based on samples collected during his temporary residence in Bozeman, MT.

clee3.jpgAs Lee states, “The formal desire is to acquire a palette of a crisp plasticity, mimicking graphic and industrial prototyping. Presented work samples are results of my investigation on the personal economy to create a narrative atmosphere. Each work espouses a particular approach to fabrication investigating the myriad forms of installation. The aim is to localize the abstract, by creating a context for me to interact with an inquisitive collaborator, in order to deal with ideas in an explicit way.”

Though born in 1980 in Korea, Cheon Pyo Lee spent his formative years in Paraguay. Lee lives and works in Brooklyn, NY with his wife who is also an artist, and has an MFA from the Yale University School of Art, and a BFA from the Art institute of Chicago. As world travelers, Lee and his companion have traveled far and wide, creating art that is site-specific and locally inspired.  Originally trained as a painter, Lee has expanded into installation art. Lee has exhibited internationally including in Texas, San Jose, Cincinnati, Brazil; and throughout New York City and Seoul, Korea.

For more information on Cheon Pyo Lee and his work, please visit www.cargocollective.com/cheonpyolee.

clee8. small sizesThe Helen E. Copeland Gallery is located on the second floor of Haynes Hall. Please note that the parking passes are required for parking during the business day (6AM-6PM).For more information on this exhibition, or on the Helen E. Copeland Gallery in general, please visit  https://hecgallery.com or follow us on Facebook (http://facebook.com/msuhecg.) For more information, please email the Gallery Director, Ella Watson at ella.watson@montana.edu or call the School of Arts at (406) 994-4501.