Sandra Eula Lee

The Walking Mountain (series), Relief print on paper, 13 x 10.5 inches, 2014-present, $500
The Walking Mountain (series), Relief print on paper,12.5 x 10 inches, 2014-present, $500
The Walking Mountain (series), Sewn thread on Korean ramie fabric, 13 x 10 inches, 2014-present, $500

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Experiences living in urban and rural areas ground how I think about the built environment and handling of the material world. I look at how objects are made and consumed, noting their different lifespans considering cultural context. I collect raw materials of construction, as well as those left behind in the demolition. I take these everyday artifacts and reframe them in my hybrid sculptures and installations. For example, in Electronic Garden (2021), I collected defunct electronic parts and audio wiring and combined them with the raw minerals used to make them, including cassiterite (tin), bauxite (aluminum), and chalcopyrite (copper). Meanwhile, for Seeds in a wild garden (2009), I responded to
rampant development by collecting rubble from the neighborhood construction sites and painting them in the colors of local gardens grown by residents in the in-between spaces. It’s presented in the form of a pile mirroring that of a mountain.

I began making The Walking Mountain drawings in 2014 with about 100 works on paper to date, including watercolor, colored pencil, graphite, ink, and relief print, and collage. Originally inspired by the piles of rocks, or cairns, I saw in the mountains and countryside in South Korea and China, they often came into being as a collective form of orientation: one person places some stones down, then the next person walking the path adds more stones. In addition to the rural areas, the form of the pile kept emerging to me in the cities; ubiquitous as piles of bricks waiting to be used for construction, piles of concrete debris from demolished buildings. In this drawing project, I’m addressing the continual state of
becoming, of disintegration, and ultimately transformation that’s required to navigate our daily conditions. The titled is inspired by Dogen’s Mountain and Waters sutra. I’ve presented selections from The Walking Mountain project in different ways depending on the space and context: as clusters of drawings, as a long horizon line, framed, under plexiglass, and unframed for materiality.

I received my MFA from Hunter College, CUNY and my BFA from Cornell University’s School of Architecture, Art, and Planning. My artwork has been exhibited internationally including a 10-year survey at The Hilliard Museum in Lafayette, LA; Art Space Pool and Nanji Art Gallery in Seoul, South Korea; Incheon Art Platform; Inside-Out Museum in Beijing; DadaPost in Berlin, the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College; Phillips Museum of Art in PA; Goucher College in Baltimore; Delaware Contemporary; Ethan Cohen KuBE; Smack Mellon in Brooklyn; and recently at The Border Project Space, Whitebox, and Chashama in New York.

My work has been written about in The New York Times, Time Out New York, WhiteHot Magazine, Sculpture Magazine, and supported by fellowships from the Asian Cultural Council, the Mellon Foundation, LMCC and recently the NJCVA/Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. Usually based between places, I’m currently in NY and PA where I run the Expanded Sculpture program at Franklin & Marshall College.