Grace Eun Mi Lee is a ceramic artist born and raised in Seoul, Korea. She moved to Canada in 2010, and has been working with clay for over 11 years. She creates small, meticulously crafted hand made figurines—called “creatures”, which are assembled into larger art installations. Her work is featured in the new exhibit ‘Objectified Matter’ presented by atelier “ascenseur”, showing at Artscape Youngplace. Heritage and Community Assistant Adom Acheampong reached out to Grace for an interview to discuss her beautifully creative and unique pieces of functional artwork.
Tell us about the work that you’ve produced for Objectified Matter.
I usually do big installations with my figurines. But for the show, I focused more on functional work. The show is more so about art pieces that people can buy and use. I was awarded a scholarship from the Ontario Craft Council, and used that do create my Chess Set piece. The Chess Set and the Circulation piece are more recent, and created for the Objectified Matter exhibit.
Is ceramic you main medium of choice?
Yes, ceramic is my main focus within my artwork. I love ceramics, and studied ceramics in school as my major. But for the Objectified Matter show, I used acrylic for the chess board instead of ceramic. I also installed a motor in the Circulation piece, so it actually rotates. I usually exclusively use ceramics, but this time I tried to use other materials.
Where do you draw your inspiration from for you unique “creatures”?
The creatures are inspired by very tiny things such as dust particles and microorganisms. The salt and pepper shakers are inspired by the individual pieces in my large installation pieces. My individual pieces are usually white; however, I’ve begun to use more black in my artwork such as in the Chess Set.
Have you always been inspired by microorganisms? Where does this inspiration come from?
I’ve always been interested in small things—specifically microorganism. There are so many things that we live together with, but we can hardly see. I’ve never formally studied microorganisms or biology, but it’s always been an interest in mine, and reflected in my artwork.
Showcasing 11 artists from different practices and co-curated by Amir Sheilkhvand and atelier “ascenseur”, “Objectified Matter” highlights the use of unconventional materials, media and ideas in the creation of functional and decorative objects. With a focus on increasing exposure of local and international artists, the exhibit is aiming to encourage a dialogue between the audiences and the contemporary objects and stir new relations within art, design, and fashion.
“Objectified Matter” runs until June 24th. For more information, please visit: