Miju Lee (South Korea, 1982) explores human emotion through painting, depicting subjective experiences. Miju Lee depicts clear objects. However, the images in her paintings seem to be viewed from a “chiaroscuro” state, rather than a clear consciousness, as if they are emerging from fantasies, daydreams, and dozing. Some dreams are so clear that we mistake them for reality, even after we are awake. Resonating with both clear and unclear meanings that cannot be described in words, these deeply emotional, fleeting scenes tend to quickly volatilize from memory. Miju Lee has shown a unique talent for faithfully translating these indescribable scenes into paintings. “I often pick up one or two clam or conch shells when I walk on the beach. I refer to this habit of mine as “jupjup,” a slang for “picking up and collecting items” circulated initially by Korea’s MMO gaming community.

Each day, we encounter countless objects and pass by millions of feelings and moments. From those, we select a few, refine or add stories to them, then store them in a place of treasures in our hearts. And such somethings, accumulated through the incessant collection, selective process, and storage, become the history of a person. In her notes, Miju Lee wrote, “When I began to accept that I did not have to be something, I suddenly wanted to capture sights with no purpose. I felt alive with the joy of such acts.” While this type of statement from an artist can be interpreted as representing a pure act of creation, in her case it reminds more of an individual’s struggle to escape from the system. This might be because Miju Lee’s images convey a familiar feeling, but are also very different from anything else in the contemporary art system. Imagine a world where nothing that we do seems strange because nothing can define us: could we ever feel more free?


• 2022 Jupjup, Shinsegae gallery, Busan

• 2022 Everyday Gleaning, BK Gallery, Seoul

• 2019 Draw Lucid Things, yeemock Gallery, Seoul

• 2018 Miju Lee´s Group exhibition, Gallery Meme, Seoul

• 2017 Art Plage: Summer diary, Lotte gallery, Seoul

• 2014 Fulanitu i Menganita, Yeemock Gallery, Seoul


• 2022 Meta Fiction Pohang Museum of Steel Art, Pohang

• 2021 팔팔한도시여행 Aram Museum, Goyang

• 2021 Typojanchi Turtle and crane, Culture Station Seoul 284

• 2021 Monster, Mongster, Cheonan Art Center

• 2021 You and me, MMCA,Gwacheon

• 2020 Coto Placismo, Cerquone Project, Madrid

• 2019 Happy Lab, Jungrang Art Center, Seoul

• 2019 Eco Ico, Gyeoungju Art Center, Gyeoungju

• 2018 Guam-Arts wave, Lotte gallery(YDP), Seoul

• 2018 Memory Theater – Collecting and Assembling, Busan museum of Art, Busan

• 2018 Secret Garden, Bongsan Art center, Daegu

• 2017 Future of Art, Daegu Art Factory, Daegu

• 2017 Squat Seongsu, S-Factory, Seoul

• 2017 Going to Busan, Lotte Gallery, Busan

• 2017 Tropical Punch, Moha art studio, Ulsan

• 2017 Spring and spare time, Aram Museum, Goyang

• 2016 RELOAD, Clayarch Museum, Gimhae

• 2016 Improvisation and Ferment, Hongti Art Center, Busan