Fantastical creatures, a little like Manga

Ceramic artist Grace Eunmi Lee focuses on the unnoticed details of everyday life by fashioning curious shapes that represent microscopic dust. (Click on the image above for a close-up view)

“Her fantastical creatures are reminiscent of manga or folkloric characters and give shape to that which is overlooked or ignored,” says The Harbourfront Centre of her exhibition at the ceramic studio through April 15.

The Birth, 50 X 50 X 70, 2009

This cocoon shape made of imaginary micro organisms represents that birth is the beginning of existence.

Microorganism, 120cm, 2009

The piece above (and below, detail) represents micro organisms through the lens of a microscope.

Born in South Korea, and in Canada since 2010, the show in Toronto is her first Canadian exhibition. She was accepted into Harbourfront’s artist-in-residency program in 2011.  (Above, detail of Dust; Below,  Dust – installed)

Photo Credit: Tom Bilenkey

The artist’s C.V., here

Her website, here

12 replies »

  1. i don’t know if it’s her white palette that silences
    the work for me but it’s as though i’m being pulled
    to the centre of the sea with these creatures!

    i think seeing the installation ‘dust’ in person would
    change the effect though. it must tinkle like a wind chime
    with any movement, do you think? like pixie dust is being cast!


    • The sea comment is really appropriate. Her website has a section on ‘sand’ made from even smaller ceramic creatures. Yes on the wind chimes. It’s hard to tell in the images but I also think it probably moves at least a bit and must make some kind of sound. I imagine she’d like your pixie dust comparison, because she’s so into minutiae.


  2. this is the first i really look at this post.

    in the second from the top frame, some of the sculptures
    come together to form the capital letter D. my immediate thought
    was to fill in the word death but i think deluge fits better, since the
    imagery is dealing with organisms!

    they work so well together but they’re also stories all unto their own!
    they each have their own personality.

    there’s something very silencing about her work. introspective i guess,
    reaffirming that there are so many things that we’re all too young to know.


    • Hi Michelle – Great to hear from you as always. I love these comments. I did not see the D until you pointed it out. And now I see it clearly. It would be fascinating to hear from her on the composition, including the D. I doubt it is coincidence how the pieces are arranged. Thank you so much for these insights. Very astute.


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