Ink on paper, 2010
Dimensions (paper): 34 x 46 ½ inches (86 x 118 cm.)
Dimensions (framed): 42 ½ x 57 ½ inches
Lee Chun-yi’s art employs an idiosyncratic visual language, where cork-stamp impressions act as words and a grid-lined format provides sentence structure. Since his youth, he has been impressed by the monumentality of Han Dynasty stone stelae, which for two thousand years have signified permanence, authority and orthodoxy in Chinese culture. Often such stelae were engraved with commemorative inscriptions within a grid—a format that inspired Lee in his own paintings and that makes them immediately recognizable.
More notable is his disregard for the brush. Lee paints with cork because its interesting surface texture and absorbency produce an array of possibilities on paper. This technical innovation contributes to the works’ visual appeal. Distinctive as his methods are, the philosophy behind the works themselves are what makes Lee’s works exceptional.
Lee Chun-yi graduated with first class honors in 1988 from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and received a scholarship from the French Cultural Ministry to visit France. He received his M.F.A. degree from the Graduate School of Fine Arts at Tunghai University of Taiwan. He recently completed a doctorate degree in Chinese Art History at Arizona State University and has moved to Taiwan where he has been asked to run the ink painting PHD program. His works are in the permanent collection of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum of the Harvard University Art Museums, the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford University, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Jiangsu Art Museum, Qingdao Art Museum, and the National Taiwan Arts Education Institute, amongst many others.