New York

Kyung-Lim Lee

Sigma Gallery

Kyung-Lim Lee investigates the legacy of abstraction through the filter of Asian and American cultures. The paintings and drawings in her most recent show reflected a concern with series and process, but they also depended on her appropriation of Chinese characters. For works such as Circle and Ellipse #2, 1993, Ellipse #1, 1991, and Trapezoid, 1991, Lee began with a Chinese-Korean dictionary, selecting ten characters of the ten-stroke type. Working with the written Chinese and its direct Korean translation, she set about exploring the meaning of each character from a personal perspective, devising charts and diagrams to record the duality inherent in ideographic structure.

As a group, the characters denoted a whole range of things from the concrete to the abstract—from body, skull, fighting, leaping, and chignon to spirit, ghost, empty, high, and melancholy. For Lee, the character for

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