Jacqueline Rush Lee
Jacqueline Rush Lee Biography
Jacqueline Rush Lee is a Hawaii-based sculptor who has worked conceptually with the book form as her primary medium for 18 years. Jacqueline has participated in numerous exhibitions in Hawaii and abroad. Selected group museum shows include Odd Volumes: Book Art from the Allan Chasanoff Collection, (Yale University Art Gallery), Boundless: The Book Transformed in Contemporary Art (Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum), The Book Borrowers: Contemporary Artists Transforming the Book (Bellevue Arts Museum), and Unhinged: Book Art on the Cutting Edge (Whatcom Museum).
Jacqueline has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction in Ceramics and a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Hawaii at Manoa 2000. Originally from Northern Ireland, she was one of seven Hawaii artists statewide selected for inclusion in the VII Biennial of Hawaii Artists at the Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, 2005. Her work is in private and public collections that include the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and the Allan Chasanoff Book Art Collection, Yale Art Gallery. Jacqueline will be having a solo exhibition of her work at the Honolulu Museum of Art in the Fall of 2017.
Jacqueline Rush Lee Description
Jacqueline Rush Lee Statement
My work primarily investigates the book as object, medium, and archetypal form. Using the book as a raw material, I apply various practices and processes to scramble the formal arrangement of books to create conceptual art forms that explore concepts of time, knowledge, and communication. Having long considered the book form's potential as a vessel for expression and contemplation, my book sculptures eliminate written content to create an experiential reading of a structure made from books. I mainly utilize the components found in books—such as pages, inks, bindings, covers—deconstructing, then re-presenting them to create new meaning.
Originally inspired by Borges' concept of the library for my MFA thesis, I created a seminal body of work in which I developed a process to fire books in kilns without any clay or slip intervention (Ex Libris 1998-2000). I was struck by the complete transformation of a book's material form into an abstract, poetic object with an entirely new narrative. I have since worked to reveal or transform the physical nature of the books that I work with into evocative art works that re-invent and re-contextualize the book form. Cerebral with emotional depth, these altered books express ideas in veiled layers of meaning; philosophically addressing the unwritten, the unknowable, the confounding. Remaining open to the physical and metaphorical transformations that occur in my working process, these residual book sculptures and installations emerge as a palimpsest - a document that bears traces of the original text within its framework but possesses a new narrative as a visual document of another time.