Christine Yerie Lee

Christine Yerie Lee (Memphis, TN) is an interdisciplinary artist and designer working in sculpture, moving image, and installation. Her work addresses personal and collective memory, hybridity, and visibility by engaging with history, myths, and pop culture. She plays with spectatorship and perception as a form of agency, often using her body to articulate ideas around resistance and resilience. Through worldbuilding and material exploration, she aims to illuminate the distinct and parallel threads of the human experience to provide pathways for connection and an inclusive future. She received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and is currently pursuing her MFA in Art at California Institute of the Arts and has shown at Faena Arts Center (Buenos Aires, Argentina), De Punt Gallery (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Y2K Group (NYC), and California Institute of the Arts (Valencia, CA). She has designed for a roster of fashion labels including Adam Lippes, 3.1 Phillip Lim, EDUN, and Club Monaco.

Role: creative director




“Headroom” is a hybrid word from the English and Korean translation for "headbang". My mom, Younja Lee, and I perform a series of rituals as a visceral process of healing. My mother recounts a divination she received from a fortune teller before immigrating to the U.S. Through movement, we create a dialogue between shifting states of self, mirroring into and out of one another, entering into a trance state as a form of agency. Hair is simultaneously dead and living, functioning as a tapestry of histories and biologies - a weaving of nonlinear temporalities. Our bodies become a site of liberation and a rejection of determinism. The (un)raveling is a transference of memories, pain, and bliss, and transforms into a shared intergenerational heirloom that enables a reclamation of joy. Incorporating narrative, documentary, and performance, I explore the intimate relationship between my mom, a Korean immigrant, and me, a Korean-American, to retrieve the things that have been lost in translation and through migration. Movement has always been a binding agent for us. She was trained as a traditional Korean dancer and we would perform together in my youth. Dance is an art form that is passed through the body. Unlike language, movement can be utilized as a decodified form of communication. Trauma, too, can be inherited biologically. The phenomenon of epigenetic inheritance hypothesizes that stressful experiences can be passed to future generations through molecular processes. These body scores untangle, reverse, and abandon the directionality of determinism. The score structure allows us to move without choreography, creating a space of expressionistic freedom. By showing my mom how to headbang, a movement completely foreign to her and a natural reaction to music for me, we disrupt the hierarchy between ascendant/descendant, mother/daughter, and human/human. In order to preserve traditions, we reinvent them.

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