Residency + Exhibition
Eureka / Adaptation
August 31 – September 7, 2019
Opening reception Saturday, August 31, 4-7p
Workshop Saturday, September 7, 2-4p
Artists Jong-chul (Alex) Lee & Ben Zask
Eureka/Adaptation at SoLA will showcase 20-30 art pieces that symbolize Jong-chul (Alex) Lee’s time of growth, reflection and change in Southern California, many of which incorporate objects found around his studio that are reinterpreted with personal meaning. Assemblage artist Ben Zask will exhibit works concurrently in gallery 2.
Alex felt the absence of color in Eureka/Adaptation was too representative of Korea. “Black, in contrast, is such an honest color,” he says, and Eureka/Adaptation is about shedding for a moment one’s Korean mindset and asking, “What else am I?” As an artist, Alex stepped outside his comfort zone, into Western culture, and opened up to the personal evolution he sought, while welcoming new inspiration as a result of adapting to a significant change in environment.
In no time, Alex became a regular at collecting objects as he further explores his temporary home and incorporating them into artwork. He’s fascinated with and inspired by Ben Zask’s artwork near-by. As a contemporary printmaking artist with a doctorate in Fine Arts from Seoul’s Hongik University, Alex is drawn to gathering flat objects that could have a sheet of paper placed on top and rubbed over (frottage), or that could be easily spray-painted for stenciling. In fact, Alex has accomplished many “firsts” during his residency, since he had never played with oil pastels, for instance, or spray paints in Korea. He’s never had the opportunity to dismantle an antiquated violin or investigate the parts that make up an old dart board, let alone draw inspiration from them.
“If there’s anything I’ve learned from my time here, it’s that art can be everything, and everything can be art,” says Alex.
Alex is part of a month-long international residency program offered by SoLA, which provides international artists a studio space, living arrangements on site and a solo show of artwork completed during the residency to culminate the end of what often becomes a life-changing experience. Guests are welcome to visit and observe the artist at work in Portuguese Bend by appointment.