Built Environments

KCJMCA’S Epsten Gallery
October 22, 2017 - January 21, 2018.
In conjunction with the Charlotte Street Foundation 25th Anniversary
Ke-Sook Lee
Burst to Bloom
Hand-embroidered thread, pigment, vintage household linen & embroidery loop 8’x10’ extended to 8’x15’ wall, floor & ceiling- Site-specific Installation

Women have worked for an environment that enables them to grow equally in our society. Unwritten boundaries and constraints have opened gradually over time, enabling more women to cultivate their own potential to grow and reach higher achievements in the contemporary world. Over the years, struggling to improve working conditions, and acknowledging a growing healthy environment, I have been documenting my experience and memory, with embroidery from “Seedpods Woman” to “Ode to Sprouts,” with spontaneity of the language of the thread. Use of recycled vintage household linen made by a previous generation of women working under more suppressed circumstances than today, gives a spiritual quality for the “Burst Bloom” that relates to women’s growth in our time. Embroidery and crochet are incorporated as an important drawing material in my own manner of personal expression, which are not seen as traditional or formal modes of expression.

While I was preparing the work in the studio garden for Built Environments at the Epston Gallery, I had to wear a mask to protect myself from bad smoky air that was filled with tiny white ashes from the wildfires in Sonoma and Napa Valley, a two - hour drive from Berkeley where I live.

I felt my work about women’s environments, could extend the issue, to children and adults, animal and plants and our nature, which is our generation’s responsibility to save and protect, for healthy growth and bloom beyond their potential and imagination.