Mi Young Lee
Mi Young Lee was born in South Korea where as a child she was steeped in the philosophical and artistic traditions of her culture. During her formative years, her progressive parents saw to it that she was also introduced to philosophies and concepts of art as they have developed in other cultures around the world.
As she studied art and began her development as an artist she found that the traditional Korean art forms of portraiture, landscapes and floral paintings left her desire for self expression unsatisfied. She began to explore western techniques of painting and abstraction to give voice to her ideas and feelings. Mi Young then decided to continue her development as an artist outside of South Korea where she could experience a culture where abstraction was more prevalent as an art form. To that end she decided to continue her art education in the United States. Moreover, in order that her immersion in western culture would be most profound, she selected an area of the United States where she felt she would be least likely to encounter Koreans or other Asians. South Dakota fulfilled that criterion so, among other schools, she investigated the University Of South Dakota College Of Fine Arts. Liking what she discovered, she applied to and was accepted to USD in 1982. She proceeded to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1985, and then a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1988.
After attaining her MFA she began her career as a professional Fine Artist, participating in competitive juried group art exhibitions locally, regionally, and then nationally, many in which she won awards for her artwork. Additionally, she has had numerous solo exhibitions in galleries throughout the United States. In 1995 she took her career abroad, making her international debut to critical acclaim with a solo exhibit in a prestigious art gallery in her home country of South Korea. She has since continued to expand her resume with exhibits in China and Germany as well. In addition to her career as a Fine Artist Mi Young Lee is also a Professor of Fine Art and Visiting Artist at The University of South Dakota College Of Fine Art and periodically gives talks to students about making a career as a professional Artist.
In 2011 she built her primary studio home in Pflugerville, northeast Austin Texas and started to create impressive paintings and engage with local artists. In the same year she also started to work out of her studio in Pompano Beach north of Fort Lauderdale showing her work at prestigious art exhibitions in South Florida during winter season.
Mi Young Lee uses water soluble oils on paperboard or canvas to produce her abstract paintings. In her statement of philosophy and technique she says: “The style and techniques I utilize in translating my feelings to images have grown from within myself as a result of my emotional response to my work and my life’s experiences. The actual source of the energy that inspires me and the effect that my work has on other people is not my primary concern in creating my art. While I am pleased when people find something beautiful in my work that they can relate to, my purpose for creating is not to decorate, but rather it is to visually express my feelings. My paintings are a composite of geometric forms, organic shapes, gestures, and texture, combined in a kaleidoscope of color to create an image of harmony, energy and optimism.”