Jae Won Lee

Guest Artist - Past

Residence Time: January & February 2013

Country of Origin: United States/Korea


Jae Won’s studio practice includes a variety of different media and expressions and works in both two and three dimensions.  Whether a sculpture, drawing or installation, or whether using porcelain, hair or paper there is a purity and sensitivity that exists in all of the work that Jae Won creates. Stripped of all extraneous details, the work quietly but powerfully commands attention demanding close observation to fully obtain all that is there. Jae Won’s deep understanding of her work, both materially and conceptually is evident. For Jae Won working in her studio is a private and personal act, a meditative process allowing time for serious thought and consideration.

One can look at one of Jae Won’s works and actually think that the act of making it was one of penance. Repeatedly making the same element over and over again, and then joining them all together as Jae Won often times does are in themselves meditative, requiring a patience, dedication and focus that few possess. Many of her pieces require the making and joining together thousands of parts. Writing has always played an important role in her work, allowing her to process her ideas and work through formal concerns on paper. 

Much of Jae Won’s work stems from being born in Korea, and living in the US. Anyone who has ever moved can relate to the isolation one feels and to the feeling that they are in a sense homeless, both new and old home no longer never the same again. Her yearning for belonging for bringing her Korean and American worlds together is a theme also explored in her work.  Jae Won will be working here at The Clay Studio January and February 2013.



Born in Korea, Jae Won was educated in the United States, receiving her BFA from California State University and her MFA from NYSCC at Alfred University in 1995. Since that time, she has firmly established herself within the field, has had numerous residencies both in the United States and Europe, and has exhibited frequently internationally. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI where she teaches Foundation courses and Senior Seminar.

Jae Won's website