Sungjae Lee

SUNGJAE LEE is a multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago and Seoul, Korea. He makes performance, installation, text, and video that probes the relationship between societal fringes and normativity in order to increase the visibility of marginalized groups. He has presented his works globally, including at the Seoul Museum of Art, Art Sonje Center, Hapjungjigu (Korea), Galleri CC, KHM Gallery (Sweden), Links Hall, Zhou B Art Center, New Wight Gallery, and Zimmerli Art Museum (USA). He has recently performed at the “RIPA 8″ at Darling Foundry (Montreal), “Performance Is Alive” at Pfizer building, and “ITINERANT Performance Art Festival” at Last Frontier (NYC). LEE received his M.F.A. and B.F.A. in Sculpture from Seoul National University. He has recently completed his masters degree in Performance Art at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently working in Chicago, IL as a curatorial assistant of the performance art gallery DFBRL8R.

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Temporal Chest Hair

Temporal Chest Hair (inspired by Valie Export) is an iteration of SUNGJAE LEE’s on-going practice that examines the relationship between hair-fetish, race, and masculinity/femininity by giving chest hair shaving service to participants and transplanting their harvested hair on his bare chest. Through the service of hair exchange with mostly male Caucasian participants, the artist probes how personal desire can affect one’s body and mind in conjunction with racial hierarchy.

Motivated by Valie Export's performance “Touch Cinema" (1969) where her breasts serve as the set of a small theater, LEE will carry a tray of hair supplies and stroll around Waterfront. He intends to engage with a diverse range of people asking for hair donations. Upon agreement the exchange will become an intimate private-public moment. This action examines the desires of a queer Asian male who is deemed effeminate and sexless in Western society.

Supported by Wellington City Council Public Art Fund

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