Work by Jessica Wee
Curated by Lingfei Ren
SPRING/BREAK Art Show NY 2022
625 Madison Ave, New York, NY
September 7 - 12, 2022
returning to normal. During the past two years, the world has slowed down and given us the chance to rethink and reevaluate the meaning of life. Jessica Wee created these paintings in Montreal, which were inspired by her deeply bonded sisterhood with her first Korean friend Seulgi when she lived in Brooklyn, New York, from 2017 to 2020. After a short trip to Montreal in the spring of 2020, Wee was not able to return due to the closure of the border as the pandemic grasped both the U.S. and Canada. As a diasporic Asian artist of Korean origin who has lived in Canada, France, Italy, and the U.S., Wee has a complex relationship with the notion of cultural identity. The three years of stay with Seulgi awakened her Korean spirit —— applying seaweed facial masks, watching K-dramas and Korean manga, eating traditional snacks and taking along good-luck charms. Wee paints Seulgi in her works, renders elements from the multiple cultural identities to create a surrealist dreamscape, while mirroring herself onto Seulgi to express her cultural heritage, and commemorate her experience in New York and those joyous days with friends. This discontinuity from a sense of “home” has also compelled her to negotiate her own ways of being in the present.
Working simultaneously with the disparities between the historic and the contemporary, Euro-Western and pan-Asian, Wee playfully engages with the question of ”Who I am”. Her works open a zone for imagination in which the viewer can contemplate their own narrative and reflect themselves.
Jessica Wee is a Korean American Canadian artist who grew up in Paris and Montreal. After receiving a BFA in painting and drawing from Concordia University with a minor in traditional animation, she spent four years studying classical realism painting techniques in Italy. Between 2019 and 2021 she acted as the head assistant painter for contemporary artist Angel Otero in New York. In 2021 she received an Explore and Create Grant for a 2-year project from the Canada Arts Council. Her work is presented within White Columns Artist Registry, the Rad Hourani Collection and has been exhibited in Montreal, Toronto and London. She currently lives and works in Montreal.
The Shape of Self
New York, NY — Independent curator Lingfei Ren is pleased to present The Shape of Self, a solo show of work by artist Jessica Wee. Relaxing, playful and enjoyable, yet touched with uncanny myst, Wee uses subjects to reflect herself, creating works from memories, dreams and imaginations. Her paintings tell stories through her personal experiences, philosophy of life, art history symbolism, and multicultural folktales.
We are hopeful that the pandemic era is nearly at its end, with entertainment coming back, mask mandates being lifted and travel restrictions loosened, but our lives are still far from