Taiwanese artist Hui Chi Lee presents a peculiar image of the human figure. She crowds her drawings with masses of bodies lumped together and entangled in threads and strands of human hair. Full of energy, her images explore themes relating to materialism, human behaviors, and relationships in today’s society, made all the more dynamic when implemented in a larger than life scale. Working mainly in pen, graphite and colored pencil on paper, her choice to use non-traditional painting materials ties with her goal as an artist: simply to create imagery that will inspire a curiosity about the implications of her work.
These drawings are featured in Lee’s solo show “Lian: Lian”, currently on display until May at Fitzgerald Fine Arts in Soho, New York. The color red within the work symbolizes both a metaphorical warning and an awakening moment in life, and hair signifies the duration of a life span and time of which we are often hardly aware. “In each piece, those elements are implements to convey the imperceptible influence that inherited tradition has on one’s mentality, which in turn forms the core of beliefs that are difficult to break,” she says. It presents a contradiction about life as both a finite amount of time, yet part of an endless cycle.
On her abstract depiction of figures, the artist writes: “This series of large-scale drawings explores the tensions and dynamics between how people are connected and how these connections themselves may also serve to enchain. In part, this series is a reflection on Taiwanese cultural traditions that can seem oppressive in contemporary society. I use the human figure as an agent to prompt discourse on these conditions. I am interested in the obscure and anonymous quality of the human form, and I want to guide the viewer to consider the subject matter in a critical, holistic manner.”