“I am adventurous, and I was fantasizing about the outer world,” she said. “The U.S. was where my parents could approve because we had family in Orange County.”
The artist recalled the first meal at her aunt’s California home: Korean food served from a buffet. Lee was handed one large plate — a radical departure from the multiple small serving vessels for specific foods and beverages typical of a meal in Korea.
“I wasn’t sure if I liked everything on one plate, and I was looking at it and seeing this is what it means to be Korean-American,” said Lee, who studied fine art at UCLA and architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
In 2007, her husband’s job transfer landed her in Denver. In the Mile High City, Lee wears many hats: she teaches, she operates a contemporary art residency space known as Collective SML | k., and she also serves as a Denver Art Museum ambassador of Asian Art.