Artist Susan Lee-Chun

Categories: Art
This is the last in a series of articles profiling the seven finalists for the Miami New Times MasterMind Awards, which will be presented to four local artists during Artopia at the Freedon Tower February 11.

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There is plaid everywhere -- stretched taunt against the walls, draping down, billowing on the ground, covering large pillows. All is still, until a hand seems to creep from a mountain of plaid. When the body the hand belongs to emerges, it too is draped in plaid.

It's a provocative comment on identity and environment, on how we blend in or stand out. And it's the work of Susan Lee-Chun, a multi-media artist who draws on both her native Asian culture and American mass media for inspiration.

"I almost always focused on my identity as an Asian American woman," Lee-Chun says. "The art is about deception. About us being able to integrate ourselves into a space but (how we) can't conceal all our characteristics."

Unlike tradional art, which is framed and sold, Lee-Chun's pieces are constantly in flux, like reality. They are performances meant to be experienced in the flesh.

"When I would finish a painting, I would hang it," she says. "I was disatisfied. I love being able to perform to an audience."

At one 2007 performance inside an 8 x 10 foot space, Lee-Chun drew a crowd of more than 600. It was a humbling, and exhiolirating, experience.

"We can eaily walk by, we're intimidated with so much imagery," she says. "For people to give their time and try to realize what's going on is the most interesting part. I have to make it live and breathe."

At first Lee-Chun sold documentation of her works, inclusing photographs of the installations. Now she's starting to sell the works themselves. So if you have a spare bedroom, you may want to giver her a ring.

"The work can actually live again," she says.

To view Lee-Chun's work visit http://susanleechun.com


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