Bojagi (Memories to Light)


Ahree Lee



Artist Statement


With parallel backgrounds in English literature and graphic design, I make work that is a composite of poetry and narrative, relying on technology and visual storytelling. I use an interdisciplinary approach that both clarifies and complicates notions of identity and personal narrative.

As a child of Korean immigrants yet raised distinctively American, I look to the past and across distances to investigate what constitutes individual or collective identity in an increasingly diasporic, culturally alienated and fractured world. I use algorithms, either through code or methodically applied analogue processes, to transform visual imagery like daily self-portrait photos, home movies or other image archives that I either find or create. My work aggregates these fragments into a new sum, greater than its parts, using contemporary time-based mediums such as video, sound, multimedia and interactivity.

I explore the tension between fragments and the whole through these questions: How do genetic and physical components make up a person? How do past events combine to make a personal narrative? How do individuals become part of a group? The resulting videos and interactive installations harken back to the aesthetic of home movies or a family slide show presentation, complicating nostalgia for the past. My most recent work utilizes code to create the artwork in real time, generatively shaping the work as DNA shapes living beings.

My upcoming project investigates how invisible labor, specifically work that has traditionally been done by women, is essential to the life of economic systems. By re-establishing the links between weaving, craft and computer technology, I hope to transform the narrative concerning women’s position within the power systems of society.