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Shadow Playing

January 6 – February 11, 2009

Susie J. Lee is a Seattle-based artist who works with video and sound installations. Lee's Shadow Playing explores ideas of what parts of the self women keep or leave behind as they move from adolescence to adulthood.

Susie Lee titled her 2007 exhibition at Lawrimore Project in Seattle Refrain. It is an odd word that is either a verb that means to hold back or abstain, or a noun that describes lines in music or verse that recur or persist. Much of Lee's work is about restraint and repetition. Nothing appears to be happening, then the rain or the hammering begins, stops and begins again. She uses light, darkness, video, sound, sculpture and poetry. Stories and images intertwine and dissipate, alternately evoking intimacy or absence or loss.

At this writing, in early December 2008, I cannot tell you what you will experience when you come to The Art Gym in January and February 2009. I can only tell you how I envision what the artist has told me so far. Shadow Playing, like Refrain, will be a series of rooms, each with its own set of experiences. And like Refrain, the artist will use projected video and sound. Shadow Playing, while still addressing loss, has as its topic not the loss of a partner, but of parts of the self that one leaves behind in the transition from girlhood to womanhood.

Lee is interested in the playfulness of girls and the elusiveness of childhood. In Shadow Playing the viewer will catch glimpses of the shadow of a girl, overhear the sound of her voice. One work, Red Light/Green Light, takes its title from a playground game in which children move forward when the caller turns her back and calls out "green light," and freeze at the words "red light" when she spins and tries to catch them moving. The game itself is a kind of stop-action live animation. Lee intends to capture the traces.

Susie Lee was born in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The daughter of Korean immigrants, Lee graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry in 1994, and was awarded a Master of Arts in Teaching from Columbia University in New York City in 1995. She taught science at the high school level for several years before pursuing a profession in art. Lee began exhibiting her work in 2000, and completed her MFA at the University of Washington in 2006. Her art is in private collections in Seattle, New York, Denver, London, Austin, Atlanta, New Jersey, Rome and Seoul; and in the collections of the Boise Art Museum, Washington State Services for the Blind, Colby College Museum of Art and the Wing Luke Asian Museum. The artist lives in Seattle and is represented in that city by Lawrimore Project and by the Galleria Tiziana Di Caro in Salerno, Italy.

– Terri M. Hopkins, Director and Curator, The Art Gym

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