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Lash/Super Toy/Powder Room

Hye Rim Lee

Through her digital personification, Toki, Lee presents a discussion of the desire and desirability of cuteness evident in Asian visual culture and fashion. Toki is a computer generated hybrid bunny-girl; she is cute and sexy like her anime (animated film) and manga (cartoon) counterparts, with doe-eyed western facial features, and a curvaceous and slender idealised body. Thorough this digital personification Lee explores what it means to be a Korean born woman living in New Zealand. The bunny reference though, has a multiplicity of significations, from the cute, playful childhood pet, to the sexual innuendos of playboy bunny. Toki’s name is Korean for bunny, which holds a personal reference for Lee as she was born in the year of the rabbit. Lee suggests that Toki is a supernatural life form who embodies the experience of migration as an ‘alien Asian’. Toki’s youth and adolescence, is symbolic too of the experience of migration, of the ensuing uncertainty and discovery of self. Lee evokes this process of individuation in her Birth of Toki series, a process similar to the way an adolescent explores and develops their own identity.

 

 

Lash, video still, 2005
Courtesy the artist, Starkwhite, Auckland and Kukje Gallery, Seoul

 

 

Lash, installation view, The Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland, 2005
Courtesy the artist, Starkwhite, Auckland and Kukje Gallery, Seoul

 

 

Lash, installation view, The Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland, 2005
Courtesy the artist, Starkwhite, Auckland and Kukje Gallery, Seoul

 

 

Super Toy, installation view, The Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland, 2005
Courtesy the artist, Starkwhite, Auckland and Kukje Gallery, Seoul

 

 

 

Powder Room, installation view, The Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland, 2005
Courtesy the artist, Starkwhite, Auckland and Kukje Gallery, Seoul

 

 

 

Powder Room, video still, 2005
Courtesy the artist, Starkwhite, Auckland and Kukje Gallery, Seoul

 

Hye Rim Lee is an Auckland based Korean artist whose work across mediums considers the way fictional identities create and are created by, cultural desires.

AEN Journal Vol.1, Iss.2 | Index for this issue | Open as PDF...