PRINT March 2018



Kathy Yaeji Lee is a Korean-American DJ, producer, visual artist, and graphic designer based in Brooklyn. She released two EPs in 2017—Yaeji and EP2— and will tour North America this year.


    I started noticing graffiti on the streets when I worked at the ink- and paint-marker brand Krink. Then, on Instagram, I found @trashgraff, which shares pieces from various writers around the world that seemed different from the more traditional graffiti I knew—that could have been what drew me into it. Even the name is great.

    *Sergio/@sprayplant’s tag, Villa el Salvador, Peru, April 16, 2017*. Featured on the @trashgraff Instagram feed. Sergio/@sprayplant’s tag, Villa el Salvador, Peru, April 16, 2017. Featured on the @trashgraff Instagram feed.

    It’s hard to pick music favorites, but Moodymann is up there for me. He’s been doing music for as long as I’ve been alive and everything he does seems so forward, yet so familiar. I can listen to his album Mahogany Brown (1998) alone in my bedroom or play it out in the club and everyone will be grooving to it. His compilation for the “DJ-Kicks” mix series is my favorite, and includes Jai Paul, Les Sins, and Little Dragon (!).


    A year after I moved back to New York from Pittsburgh, I was invited to play Technofeminism, a night organized by Emma Burgess-Olson (aka Umfang), one of the three founders of Discwoman, and Bailey Hoffman (aka Beta Librae). I will never forget it. I felt like I could play any type of weird music I loved in a space where people could dance open-mindedly. As a collective, booking agency, and event platform, Discwoman has helped pave a way not only for underrepresented DJs but also for the listeners, dancers, and participants who want to feel welcome and safe at clubs.

    *Discwoman founders, Fort Tilden, New York, June 2017*. From left: Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson, Emma Burgess-Olson, and Christine McCharen-Tran. Photo: Aurora Halal. Discwoman founders, Fort Tilden, New York, June 2017. From left: Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson, Emma Burgess-Olson, and Christine McCharen-Tran. Photo: Aurora Halal.
  4. ONE PIECE, 1999–

    This was the anime to watch in my middle school in Korea. One Piece generated lunchtime conversations and friendships and took me away from the real world. The anime, and the manga from which it’s adapted, takes place in this fabricated world where pirates travel in search of treasure, money, and fame. I recently discovered that there are now over eight hundred episodes, and that it’s been running for almost twenty years (!!). I’m genuinely excited that we can age together.

    *_One Piece_, 1999–*, still from a TV show on Fuji Television. Season 1, episode 17. One Piece, 1999–, still from a TV show on Fuji Television. Season 1, episode 17.

    Sometime toward the end of college, I fell deep into gradients. The gradient allowed me to choose more than one color, and therefore convey more than one idea. Gradients are ambiguous, like a gray area. Like things in life, nothing is quite black or white. An artist I followed closely at the time was Rafaël Rozendaal, whose use of the internet as a medium was superfresh and aesthetically interesting. Recently, I’ve been enjoying the Korean Minimalist Lee Ufan’s way with color.

    *Rafaël Rozendaal, _crossdivisions.com_, 2016*, website. Rafaël Rozendaal,, 2016, website.
  6. BJÖRK’S “THE GATE” (2017)

    The video to this track from her latest album, Utopia (2017), might be the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I even teared up a bit when I rewatched it. There’s so much attention to every detail, from the sound design and FX to the overall emotional expression. Everything blends in a way that appears smooth and effortless—a convincing new universe.

    *Still from Björk’s 2017 video _The Gate_, directed by Andrew Thomas Huang.* Björk. Still from Björk’s 2017 video The Gate, directed by Andrew Thomas Huang. Björk.

    This is a small metals studio based in Seoul run by my friend Yuri, who I met at an all-girls DJ workshop I taught in Korea. As the name suggests, the products are simple and honest. Her first line of jewelry was called “U do,” and it was released in 2016, taking inspiration and form from the #freethenipple movement. Her second collection, “Liquid,” was released with no description or story—quite the opposite of “U do.” She wanted to take all background information out of the project and see how the work could speak for itself.

    *Seoul-Metal, Liquid Earrings_03, 2017*, silver, 3 1/8 × 3/8 × 3/8". Seoul-Metal, Liquid Earrings_03, 2017, silver, 3 1/8 × 3/8 × 3/8".

    ADER error is an anonymous South Korean design collective. I wouldn’t even have known where they were from, except that I first discovered them in a Korean indie magazine. Their gender-ambiguous garments and simple yet prominent graphics are forward-thinking compared to what I was used to seeing growing up in Seoul.

    *Look from ADER error’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection.* Look from ADER error’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection.

    I don’t remember ever laughing as much as I did watching this video on YouTube from user Justin Kuritzkes. He plays both roles in the video’s scenario, of one guy hyping up another in a bro-y, ass-kissing way. Such a simple idea, so genius! Sadly, this is not a far cry from how some people in the music industry actually are. Perhaps I was laughing at how hard this struck home.

    *Justin Kuritzkes, _You and Me, Man_, 2013*, digital video, color, sound, 2 minutes 47 seconds. Justin Kuritzkes, You and Me, Man, 2013, digital video, color, sound, 2 minutes 47 seconds.
  10. NATTO

    I love everything about this fermented-soybean dish—the texture, the smell, the taste, the color, the way it oozes off your chopsticks like slime. I first encountered it mixed into a Japanese curry—another one of my favorites. Natto is hit or miss for most people, but I’m into it. It’s rich in vitamins and protein, too. My favorite way to eat it is by mixing it with wasabi and sweet soy sauce and dumping it on top of a bowl of white rice with raw egg yolk.

    *Natto, 2008.* Photo: masamunecyrus/Flickr. Natto, 2008. Photo: masamunecyrus/Flickr.