Jin Han Lee uses painting to capture and make sense of the wordless emotions that underpin the minutiae of everyday life and to visualise the inevitable distance between these subjective experiences and communicating them to others. Lee’s paintings are colourful and highly visual yet they are informed by language–both thought and spoken—and its role as an intermediary between the personal and the public. For Deptford X, Han Lee is exhibiting three new paintings that are directly related to the artist’s experiences in Deptford and New Cross where she lives.
Drinks Alone conveys a particular evening in which Lee was sitting alone in Deptford’s Market Yard drinking wine. The central figure in the image represents the artist as a large, transparent figure overlaying several tableaus depicting the activities of strangers. In one instance, a woman can be seen whispering in someone’s ear and in another a man is depicted riding a bicycle. The vivid colours and movement in Han Lee’s painting style convey a cacophony of action that is barely contained by the edges of the canvas. For Deptford X festival, Lee has created two large-scale banners that occupy the public realm—on the railway bridge over the High Street and on the façade of Deptford Lounge in Giffin Square. The latter is a reproduction of Drinks Alone, positioned so that it faces the bars in the Market Yard where the inspiration for the painting arose. Its position in the heart of Deptford evokes the multiple intersecting narratives of people’s lives as they come, go and spend time in the area trying to make sense of their own reality and that of the people they live and move amongst.
Jin Han Lee lives and works in London and Seoul. She is a PhD candidate at the Slade School of Fine art.
Drinks Alone, Peeking and Swimmer/Dreamer are Deptford X commissions.
Head to Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, SE8 4RJ to view Drinks Alone
Head to Deptford Station bridge to view On the Same Page