Jennie Jieun Lee
Jennie Jieun Lee is a Professor of the Practice in Ceramics at SMFA Tufts University. Before her time at SMFA, she taught ceramic students at New York University and California State Long Beach where she earned her MFA She has danced at The Kitchen in NYC with collective, Stanley Love Performance Group and has been a member of the downtown New York art scene for many years. She is a John Simon Guggenheim fellow (2017) and Art Matters Grant recipient (2019).
Since graduating from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in 1999, she has been utilizing clay as a way to embrace the inherent vulnerability of life in forms such as sculpture, installation, vessels, busts, and paintings. In her work there are waves of references to immigration. assimilation, memory, death and pain.
In her current show, Marie which opened on September 8th of 2022 at Martos Gallery in NYC, she created an installation with her interpretation of the historical tomb of Marie Laveau, the infamous Vodoun priestess of New Orleans from the late 1800’s. Using the memories, she’s kept since her seminal visit in 1994 of Laveau’s tomb, she lined the outside of the mausoleum with her personal artifacts collected over the last thirty years along with flowers grown and picked from her micro flower farm in upstate NY. She also included in her show glazed porcelain organs made by her former students at NYU.
In 2022-2023 she is a Tisch Faculty Fellow at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. Over the pandemic, Lee began creating an online community with other Korean-American women who moved from Korea to the US at an early age. With this fellowship, Lee plans to return to South Korea, her birthplace and a country she hasn’t returned to since 1988. She will use her art contacts to research ceramic villages and clay artists to inspire her work for her next exhibition at AF Projects in Los Angeles, CA in 2024.
Lee’s book, Rainbow One Hour Photo (Pacific Books, 2019) has a collection of her ceramic sculpture over the last decade. She is currently developing a new book covering contemporary ceramic in America.