Diversion, 48″ x 96″, 2008, acrylic on PVC panel
SF Weekly July 7, 2006
Yoon Lee Lifts Off
Artist Yoon Lee covers large plastic slabs in colorful lines, fluid whorls, and abstract shapes that look at once organic and computer generated, hinting at a tangle of intriguing ideas — the Big Bang, the tracers after an explosion, the electrical blueprints of a power plant, the path of unknown orbits, the trajectories of neutrinos, the plumbing under a city, the sudden unraveling of the world’s biggest ball of string. None of these, however, stands alone in explaining her work, and that’s part of the attraction. Lee starts with a jumble of scanned images of engineering structures and the like, then lays down colored acrylic paint from bottles. Her work is big — wait, make that huge. Her acrylic-on-PVC Reconstruction (a new beginning) measures 8 feet tall and 12 feet long, and it gives you plenty to look at, with hundreds of overlapping layers of paint, some strips rounded into orbits, other nudged into ordered rows, and more than a few blasting into space. Her gutsy mix of chaos and order, along with her bold use of color, is no surprise: In college, Lee studied computer science, mechanical engineering, and existential philosophy before switching to art, and in 2005 she landed a residency at Marin’s prestigious Headlands Center for the Arts after winning the Tournesol Award.