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Ye-Jee Lee

Manipulated Animals 2

Manipulated Animals 2

Regular price $2,900.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $2,900.00 USD
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Manipulated Animals 2





sterling silver, nickel silver


150 x 220 x 15

Artist Statement

Humans like to flaunt. Ornaments attach certain symbols of achievement to the bodies of humans. They are the direct means by which humans can reveal their desires. We have long been creating symbols related to honor, power, affiliation, money, education, etc. Examples include the spectacular decorations of the Sistine Chapel, symbolizing the sublimity of religion, or a coat of arms boasting the authority of an imperial family. Today, these symbols can be found on the buttons of clothes, the insignias of uniforms, or the patterns embossed on various types of certifications.

The press technique using dies is a typical method for making these objects. This method provides continuous production in large quantities, making it suitable for producing objects that represent a sense of belonging to a particular group. Also, compared to the casting technique, the press technique enables production even with a small amount of metal, thus achieving economic efficiency and objectives with the same volume but with a lighter weight.
I reprint the shell of desire by taking advantage of the metal die that was used to fulfill the purpose. The act of printing objects in a symbolic language is analogous to spreading metaphorical messages embedded in those objects. In the process, the symbolic content and its role initially produced by the die are broken down and reproduced in an empty form. The symbol's authority and meaning become overshadowed and become an element solely for the surface decoration. The laurel wreath awarded to the marathon winners represents victory, glory, and honor. The laurel tree in university medals designed to convey such a meaning no longer acts as a symbol of honor when incorporated into my work. As it simply indicates a decoration that embodies the plant's leaves, it becomes juxtaposed or blended with other elements to signify a different image.
Meanwhile, the metal dies I have collected can be classified into several types. The first type involves the decorative forms of a pendant, rings, and animal shapes, which are ornaments commonly used in the Western world, as well as the dies related to the decoration for making buttons or hair clips. The second type involves those related to education, such as university seals. The third type entails those for creating objects to display a sense of social belonging or superiority, such as badges or company logos. The last type involves the dies that suggest power and wealth, such as insignias or silver bullions. As such, my ornaments, which rearrange the symbols that visualize the object of human envies and bind them together into a bouquet of stories, connect with humans again to form fresh relationships with them.

Artist bio:
Ye-jee Lee was born in 1984 in South Korea. Her major at the University was German Language and Literature. In her last year of University, she started learning metalwork to make creative jewelry. She used to travel a lot around the world, such as Egypt, Fiji Island, Nepal, and others. She was interested in jewelry from those exotic countries and decided to make her own extraordinary jewelry.

Ye-jee Lee presses symbols of humans’ desires into sheet metal using collected dies from different countries to make her jewelry. She participated in various exhibitions and international fairs after she graduated from Kookmin Graduate School, majoring in Metalcraft & Jewellery in 2014. Her jewelry was presented at fairs such as MAD in New York City, Sieraad in Amsterdam, COLLECT in London, IHM in Munich, JOYA in Barcelona, and others. Also, she won the 3rd BKV-Prize in 2015 and was selected for Talente 2018. She is not only a jeweler but also a lecturer at a college in Korea.

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