T293 is pleased to present Finding my missing half, the first solo exhibition in Europe by South-Korean, Los Angeles-based artist Yoora Lee.
The paintings by Yoora Lee are characterized by analogous color relationships and wavering horizontal marks that imagine an impressionism derived from video tape distortions. The artist’s brush strokes blur the picture like an analog TV glitch, undulating the image as though from an obsolete technology. The unreal color provokes a sense of fantasy, reminding people of brief moments when life feels like a movie or drama. The filtered palette indicates the unknown, something outside of ordinary life, a sort of suspended reality. Compositionally, the repetition of reflected spaces and screens creates sub-narratives that are open-ended and incomplete. The picture plane opens outward toward the viewer, inviting them into an awareness of a between-space where the painting is a stage and they are the audience.
Yoora Lee’s works evoke a nostalgia of the recent past, as grainy VHS grade images meet the retro mood of Japanese anime. The power of nostalgia manipulates the viewers’ minds and emotions through imperfect memories. For the artist, fiction needs characters. For that reason, most of her paintings are figurative. However, time is warped, resulting in figures of the present juxtaposing with those from the past. Through walls, windows and screens viewers can look back and forth. Nonetheless, the figures feel blank, inviting the viewer to project themselves into their points of view and wonder about their intentions.
For Finding my missing half, her first solo exhibition in Europe, Yoora Lee looks into her own personal experiences and navigates through the plethora of emotions caused by a heartbreak. In her paintings, the artist articulates the ecstasy of new encounters, the dizziness from excitement, the pain of loss and eventually, the emptiness of separation, relatable emotions that are part of the human experience. Lee’s work are self-portraits through which the artist expresses the language of her own body, which in this series of work looks somewhat fragile. The moments captured by the artist feel like scenes from a drama with evocative music and melancholic colors, as if her memories were screened in a movie theater, and the horizontal brushstrokes of the paintings produce the effect of a moving image.