BLANK SPACE is pleased to present S.O.S Who in the www Am I? a special exhibition of London based Korean artist Dongeun Lee. In celebration of young artistic talent, BLANK SPACE has selected Dongeun Lee as this year’s emerging artist. Comprised of a seemingly incongruous series of conceptual and abstract subject matter, the exhibition is a visual decode into the artist's inner sphere, which is shaped by issues of social identity, alienation and communication.
The artist’s Communication series depicts the fantasy character from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland lost in a cyber world. In it, Alice is symbolic of the artist's alter ego and represents the avatar through which the artist communicates. "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Fascinated by Oscar Wilde's statement on how a person is most comfortable expressing one's true self when his/her social identity is veiled, she associated this concept to her own experience as a study abroad student in London. Having to adapt to an unfamiliar environment as a lonely stranger, she found herself putting on a mask to hide her foreignness. As people long for communication and relationships from their surroundings to escape solitude, Dongeun's desire to present the best version of herself in her group can be seen as a self-conscious and common social behavior to assimilate in a new cultural environment.
In a series of 9 drawings, Dongeun sets Alice in a cyber world as a gesture of seeking digital communication through her surrogate doll. She is depicted verbalizing her thoughts, and in each of the artist's Instagram photos, Alice is seen as the subject matter posing at the sites of Dongeun's travels.
In her Morse code series, the artist displays repeating black and white canvases representing S.O.S., the only nine-element signal in the Morse code. Beyond a cry for help, S.O.S. for Dongeun also implies the plea “please communicate with me truly.” Identifying with the brave character Alice, who created a new world through her imagination, Dongeun seeks communication in the digital world in hopes to lead a life full of confidence.
Dongeun Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1978 grew up enjoying painting and other forms of art in a family was very supportive of arts and communication. Her father is the founder and director of The Phone Museum in Korea, and of her mother is a painter. Dongeun Lee graduated from University Arts of London, Chelsea College of Arts with a B.A. (Hons) in Fine Art, and has had several solo exhibitions in Korea and the United Kingdom. She also participated in numerous group exhibitions and projects, including serving as the deputy curator of the Phone Museum and producing and directing moving image and film projects.