Haesook “Hannah” Lee was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. She received her BFA in painting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1985. Lee’s art focuses on finding her personal and individual identity by seeking her true self through Christian faith. Lee’s work is about her journey of belief that shows the search, transition, and transformation toward the new self as a new being and its wholeness. As an immigrant in a new environment, language and culture, she came to focus on her inner being and permanent values. Lee wanted to deal with her innermost self, so she can live out her true self – the new self – with solid individual identity in a new society. Each work is based on specific Biblical passages that are interpreted and applied inwardly and subjectively in accordance with her faith and understanding. Lee’s work is inspired by the wooden lines and structures in traditional Korean architecture, which she grew up with. In painting she uses geometric shapes with the emphasis on lines by using balsa woods. In 3-D work she uses wood crates and boxes with the objects filling them to represent her heart and its state.
Lee has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions since 2011. The galleries she has exhibited are: Art Share L.A., CA; Art Landing gallery, Inglewood, CA; Imperial Valley college art gallery in Imperial, CA; Los Angeles Municipal art gallery in Los Angeles, CA; Linus gallery in Pasadena, CA; Whittier art gallery in Whittier, CA; La Canada public library in La Canada, CA; SoPas art gallery and SOPA studio gallery in South Pasadena, CA.
Lee currently lives and works in Arcadia, California.