Jeewi Lee

Ashes to Ashes (Purifying)

350* Euro

Jeewi Lee’s (*1987 in Seoul, lives and works in Berlin) installations, actions, and image series take real and metaphorical traces as their starting point. She is interested in the indexicality of traces as echoes of an absence inscribed in time. Recently Lee’s work has reflected on how moments of crisis—such as the rampant COVID-19 pandemic or the forest fires of Tuscany, California and Australia—leave a mark on the collective consciousness and permanently change our perception.

The editions Ashes to Ashes (Purifying) are derived from her work Ashes to Ashes (2019). This work consists of a set of three handmade soaps, made of individual pieces that feature unique imprints of the ash and coal that they are composed from. This material is the result of forest fires in Mont Serra, Tuscany in September 2018—a man-made fire that effected more than 600 hectares of land. During her stay at the Villa Romana, Lee traveled to the scene of the incident to collect ash and charred tree trunks. Using these silent witnesses of humans’ impact on nature, she created these soaps, which became part of a cycle that recounts destruction to regeneration. A forest fire leaves behind fertile ground upon which a new world of plants quickly thrives – a fact upon which the thousand-year-old agricultural tradition of slash-and-burn cultivation is based. In the context of ritual cleansing, soap is also related to new beginnings and is inherently ephemeral if put to water.

  • Exhibitions:
  • 2020
  • -re-, #UNFINISHEDTRACES, Villa Romana, Kunstverein in Hamburg (S)
    Studio Berlin, Boros Foundation, Berghain (G)
  • 2019
  • Back There, Kunstverein Tiergarten / Galerie Nord, Berlin (G)
    Kommunizierende Röhren, Salon René Holm, Berlin (G)
    Supplica per un ́appendice, Kunstraum, Munich (G)
  • 2018
  • Inzision, Sexauer Gallery, Berlin (S)
    Would have been II, Palazzo Ziino, Palermo (G)
    Would have been, Villa Romana, Florenz (G)
  • 2017
  • Marbling, Bar Babette, Berlin (S)
    FESTIVAL OF FUTURE NOWS, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Berlin (G)
    New Adventures in Vexillology #3, Kunstverein Amrum (G)