I admit it – I am easily overwhelmed by big things: art, objects, buildings, cities, crowds. Although often humbled by nature’s ability to create on a large-scale and just as often humbled by the skill and talent it takes to make large-scale art, I tend to gravitate more towards small objects, fragments, bits. . .
When I first saw Jae-Hyo Lee’s large wood sculptures it didn’t surprise me that while admiring them, not only was I impressed with the scale of the work and the fact that it is no small feat to bring one of these sculptures into being, but I also immediately saw each of these grand sculptures translated into a brooch, a pendant or a small vessel. The shapes are mostly familiar – but the surface patterns and textures – now wouldn’t they be something to see in jewelry? Hmmm. . .indeed.
Let’s go back to Lee’s incredible work. Most of the images here are from his portfolio of wood sculptures – when you visit his website don’t stop there. The Wood and Nails portfolio is equally compelling and there are 19 pages of studio images in addition to several other portfolios.
“He sees the world in a slightly oblique way, and has a gift for turning the familiar into the unfamiliar.
Almost all of us, at one time or another, have had the experience – perhaps when we have just woken up – of feeling completely disassociated from things that, at other moments, are perfectly familiar to us. A chair is not a chair. A table is not a table. It is, instead, a wholly alien object forcefully imported into an entirely unready consciousness.
What Lee Jaehyo offers, in fact, are opportunities for seeing the world anew, with the kind of innocence of vision that we associate with children’s play.” Art historian and critic Edward Lucie-Smith