Sandra Eula Lee
Based in New York
Assistant Prof of Art, F&M College


Fresh, Phillips Museum of Art, PA
Aug-Dec 2019

Mellon Foundation HIES Grant Recipient 2019

Kenyon Review May/June 2019 issue on ecology, Edited by David Lynn

Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College Video Trailer
July 28-Dec 23, 2018

Gund Gallery, Kenyon College
Solo exhibition
April 23-May 27, 2018

The Hilliard Museum, Lafayette, LA
Solo exhibition with Publication
Dec 27-May 6, 2017

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In his book Defiant Gardens, Kenneth Helphand discusses how the power of a garden can intensify when created in inhospitable environments; the disparities between the setting and action can highlight the great humanity in the activity of making a garden in the midst of extreme change.

My parents are war survivors and my exploration into my family’s divided history has led me to make work in South Korea, supported by a grant from the Asian Cultural Council. I thought about the wounded landscape and how the potential of a garden, its resilience comes through in these defiant conditions. Two waters started at the Chinese-European Art Center in Xiamen, traveled to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and then Art Space Pool in Seoul. Nominated for a Smithsonian Institute Artist Research Fellowship and the Sindoh Artist Support Program in Seoul, I conceived the project as a place for reflecting on the changed historical landscape, created mainly from industrial rubble collected in the cities.

Then, living and working in Beijing, neighborhoods underwent constant demolition and communities relocated, including my own. I saw many temporary structures built and re-built, including make-shift stands, small impromptu gardens, and improvised spaces. At the same time I studied traditional Korean and Chinese gardens, a space of contemplation including a large central pond that reflects back its surroundings. These experiences inspired the garden hacks I create. I combine industrial materials with hand-made traditions in order to explore the dissonance I experience between the two.

Struggles in daily life, material culture, simple defiant gestures, and transformation drive my work. My sculptures and installations have been a TIME OUT NEW YORK Critic's Pick, and discussed and featured in The New York Times, Artnet Magazine, Boston Globe, Harper’s Bazaar Seoul, World Journal, and Trendebeheer, among others.

From 2015-19 I ran the Expanded Sculpture program at Kenyon College. I currently run the Expanded Sculpture program at F&M. Previous posts include Directing the Masters Preparation program in Beijing, a collaboration with Chelsea College of Art, University of the Arts London, from 2011-14.