Artist Statement – Virginia Lee
I am a story-teller. With my paint brush, I dip into my memories of the social, political, economic and environmental issues of our time. I strive to create an emotional sensory experience and invite my audience into my personal space, to ponder on our history, discuss current situations and look into our future.
I immigrated to Canada as a teenager from Hong Kong. My current resident artist project at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre, is called “A String of Pearls”, same title of China’s economic and military strategies. In my project, I delve into my understanding of Chinese culture in rapid evolution and investigate my personal stories of identity and belonging.
I blend paint with other media to create art that crosses the boundaries of traditional painting with sculpture, installation, photography, video and performance.
Chinese culture is complex and often influenced by mythologies and superstitions. Using lyrical strokes, comforting colors, fanciful designs, found objects and fun interactive kinetics, I create layers of images of real and mythical characters with autobiographical elements. These narratives are whimsical and interwoven with China’s past and current issues.
Through the touch of these objects, their scents, I aim to engage the viewer to interact with my installation and become an integral part of the story.
I aim to continue the discourse of what it means to be Chinese and hope my audience will resonate with my work.