Korean-born Brooklyn artist Timothy Hyunsoo Lee creates 3D escapades in a 2D format. The paper is both painted upon and sculpted: acted on as a canvas for gouache and watercolor, then the paper is cut into and reformed, creating shapes and 3D sculptures which the paintings move across.
Primarily intending to pursue medical school, Lee changed his mind after graduation and instead found a studio and continued working on his other passion, art. You can see traces of his past ambitions in the technical precision of his paintings. The symmetry is scientific.
Some shapes are forming, some dissolving, some reforming. Matter shifts between sections of his work, created in one area and destroyed in another. Rectangle cut-outs fan inward from the edges of the paper like waves of autumn leaves kicked up from the ground, like a school of fish flickering in unison. He paints with gradients, running in and out of them, some color, some grayscale. Faces and eyes are a prominent feature of his work. The Sabrina Amrani Gallery, where Lee has shown work, summarizes his technique rather aptly:
“Hyunsoo Lee’s works are inspired by themes of social stigma, identity, psychological disorders, and more recently, of spirituality and religion. He explores these themes through a novel vector – paintings and sculptures consisting largely of cell-like marks that vary in size, color, and saturation. His works are seen as ethereal and delicate, but the extremely labor-intensive compositions, marked by intensely obsessive repetitions, quickly betray that initial perception. Exploring his own history of anxiety disorders through his art, Timothy confronts and manipulates his tics and compulsions and channels them into his works. In responding to his anxiety with art, he has developed a novel system of mind-mapping – “a cartography of his psychopathology” – to study a part of himself that initially drew him to study developmental biology and neuroscience in college.” (Excerpt from Source)