Gesture and the Flow Video by the Utah Division of Arts and Museums

At her most recent exhibition at Salt Lake City’s Phillips Gallery, Korean-born artist Hyunmee Lee unveiled a new body of work: paintings marked by large floating objects in bright colors, and ceramics and works on paper distinguished by her use of gestural black strokes. The paintings are now on exhibit at the Weber County Library’s grand opening of their new branch in Roy (see below), and in this video profile the Utah Division of Arts and Museum fellowship award-winner (2015) discusses the emotional and philosophical underpinnings of her work, its reliance on the relationship between gesture and meditation, and the new use of color and form.




Invitational Solo Exhibition in Public Library (Feb – Apr. 30, 2016)

Lee’s paintings were invited for the grand opening of the new Southwest Branch of the Weber Public Library, Roy. This massive contemporary structure was a $45 million dollar project designed by Prescott Muir Architects. Lee was the first choice to exhibit at the library’s grand opening to the public, and the exhibition was a huge honor. READ MORE

Recent Public Collections

  • “Inland Passage 6” (60 x 44 inches). The piece is collected by Southwest branch of the Weber public library, Roy. (April 2016)
  • “Dimensional Presence” (74 x 74 inches). Public collection of the state of New Mexico: This collection was made through the Art in Public Places program thru Nuart Gallery. Displaying in the lobby of Popejoy Hall – the large concert venue in Albuquerque at UNM. (May 2016)
  • “Appearing Disappearing 2” (72 x 72 inches). Collection by BioFire (a Biomerieus Company) in Salt Lake City thru Phillips Gallery (May 2017)


Major Visual Arts Fellowship awarded to Artist Hyunmee Lee

March 10, 2015: The Utah Division of Arts & Museums announced the award of a Fellowship for Visual Arts Excellence to Hyunmee Lee.


Juror Cameron Martin, a visual artist from Brooklyn, New York, whose works have been shown internationally, said of his selection: “Hyunmee Lee’s work is predicated on the act of extemporaneous gesture as an evocation of affect. Influenced by Taoism and Buddhism, she is concerned with principles of immediacy, harmony, balance and connectedness. “Her painted compositions are at times playful and at others filled with pathos. The paintings adroitly situate themselves between multiple traditions of abstraction and work to conjure an emotional realm just outside the confines of language. Her assiduous practice has allowed her to produce work that embodies her intentions with supple dexterity.”


©HYUNMEE LEE ABSTRACT ARTHyunmee Lee was born in Seoul Korea, where she grew up practicing Western Modern art with experience in Eastern painting and calligraphy. Her art practice crosses three continents over two decades.


1985. Lee graduated Hong-Ik University majoring in painting. At the end of that year, she moved to Australia. She stayed there for six years and achieved two post graduate degrees.


1989. She exhibited in her first commercial gallery, Bonython-Meodemore Gallery, Sydney. At the same time, her work was exposed through a contemporary art book (Art Four).


1991. Hyunmee Lee earned a Master of Arts in Visual Arts (MFA) at the Sydney College of Arts, University of Sydney and returned to Korea. She lived in Korea for seven years. There she taught in Hong-Ik University as a lecturer and exhibited in solo shows in major art galleries and art fairs in Seoul.


1997. Lee came to Utah, U.S.A. where she continuously taught in universities and built up her art career.


2001. She became a faculty member of Utah Valley University.


2002. Lee had her first solo show in America, called Mountain Armatures, at the Woodbury Art Museum in Orem, Utah.


2006. She showed her large scale work in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Intimacy Without Restraint.

2009. After achieving tenure in 2008, she retired from teaching and more fully concentrated on her art. She is currently working with U.S.A galleries.


2012. Lee travels extensively through Asia to India, Thailand, and Korea to gather inspiration. Afterwards, she published book “Native Mumbling” printed in Misulsege, Korea.


2015. Lee receives the Fellowship for Visual Arts Excellence from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. Her experimental work in ceramics was shown to the public for the first time.



Master of Arts in Visual Arts (MFA), the University of Sydney, Sydney
Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts (MA), the University of Sydney, Sydney
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, Hong-Ik University, Seoul


2017  Intonation of Oneness, Nüart Gallery, Santa Fe
2016  Monochromatic Explorations, Nüart Gallery, Santa Fe
2016  Abstract Alchemy II, Weber Public Libraries, Roy
2015  Markedly Minimal, Phillips Gallery, Salt Lake City
2015  Abstract Alchemy, Cheryl Hazan Contemporary Art, New York City
2014  Still Winds, Nüart Gallery, Santa Fe
2013  Beautiful Disaster, Nüart Gallery, Santa Fe
2012  Silent Gesture, Tinney Contemporary, Nashville
2011  Native Mumbling: Sori Sori, Julie Nester Gallery, Park City
2011  Native Mumbling: da da ga ga, Nüart Gallery, Santa Fe
2011  Native Mumbling: Ma Ba Sa, Cheryl Hazan Contemporary Art, New York City
2010 Native Mumbling: Ga Na Da Ra, Phillips Gallery, Salt Lake City
2009 Inland Crossing, Nüart Gallery, Santa Fe
2009 Dimensional Poetics, Julie Nester Gallery, Park City
2008 Meditative Gesture, Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta
2008 Contact-Sensation: The Harmony of Opposites, Nüart Gallery, Santa Fe
2008 Touch: Meditation Joins Gesture, Phillips Gallery, Salt Lake City
2007 Foreordained Gesture, Nüart Gallery, Santa Fe
2006 Intimacy without Restraint, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City
2006 Outside Sight, Phillips Gallery, Salt Lake City
2005 When Gesture Finds Its Power, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan
2002 Mountain Armatures, Woodbury Gallery, Orem
2001 Utah Arts Festival, Salt Lake City, 2001
1997 Seeing Through the Self, Moin Gallery, Seoul
1997 Seoul Art Fair by Moin Gallery, Seoul Arts Centers, Seoul
1996 Seoul Art Fair by Moin Gallery, Seoul Arts Centers, Seoul
1995 Unconsciousness & Gesture, Gallery Ihn, Seoul
1993 Objecthood-Intrinsic Space, Gallery Kangnam, Seoul
1992 The Spontaneity of Space Through the Silence, Gallery Icon, Seoul
1991 A Formative Art World of the Space-Phase, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul
1991 The Dissolution of the Self, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1990 First Face, Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney