at Basilica Galeria, Barcelona
As always when we have news from graduates, we are proud and happy to announce Dinah Lee’s solo show at La Basilica Galeria, www.labasilicagaleria.com.
Dinah Lee, www.dinah-lee.com, is a Korean/American artist and she graduated from Alchimia two years ago. This exhibition is the result of a deep investigation into her Korean heritage. Jewelry and cultural symbolism have deep connections and are an interesting field to work on especially in this period of global nomadism. Where do we belong to, where is our starting point and where are we headed for.
Dinah has chosen the fingernails as her main subject – Sontob is the Korean word for fingernail and in Korean tradition a very important part of the body.
Social status has been associated with long nails by many ancient cultures, commonly equating long nails with high social standing. Additionally the Koreans believed that the fingernail was a receptacle for the soul or spirit. According to folklore, care was to be taken when cutting and disposing of fingernails to protect the soul from evil as it could assume one’s identity. This notion of mystery seems old fashioned to us these days, but it is interesting to note that fingernail clippings are commonly used as samples in DNA testing. It is as if the scientific has replaced the superstitious.
In this solo show Dinah Lee is not only presenting jewelry but also a series of sculptures entirely realized with acrylic nail tips.
The colors totally refer to the Korean tradition and in this way she strongly addresses the duality of tradition, fashion, style and superstition.
As she declares in her statement:
Today the fingernail occupies the world of fashion and technology. Trendy colors combine with science for a ‘hard as nails’ fashion accent. Mass produced acrylic or fake extensions are also commonly worn. I found a unique creepiness to these disembodied forms. Especially in light of Korean tradidition and superstition. These fake nails bring up many questions as to how we reconcile the spiritual with the mechanized and mass produced. These are questions that I tried to investigate through the work presented here. I didn’t seek answers, only to explore through form, the possibility of expressing seemingly disparate concepts in a single work.
Also the series of medallions have a close connection to the traditional Korean Medallion necklaces, in colors and materials.