Hye Rim Lee is an Auckland-based Korean New Zealand artist. Her 3D animation questions new technology’s role in image-making and representation. Her work has developed and grown with critical exploration and evolution through the representation of TOKI the character in her ongoing TOKI/Cyborg Project since 2002. Her work is ambitious, expansive, and conceptually and technically honed: each new project surpassing the previous genesis of TOKI.
Lee explores instinct, fantasy, and sexual innuendo through mythological elements of identity. TOKI is a hybrid form of human and bunny in the vision of her imagination, she explores the contemporary pop culture and cyber trend between West and East in the challenge of mixing old mythology with new contemporary myth-making.
Lee’s photos and video installations tell a fantasy tale based on an intermingling of Eastern and Western popular culture and the study of new technologies and how they influence tradition. She is involved in the critical exploration of questions dealing with modern visual culture from a complex point of view in which different approaches are used. The graphics used inevitably refer to the manga tradition, but are mixed with Western aesthetic ideals, thus giving life to transcultural characters who live in an imaginary world governed by testosterone.
Since 2014 she has been rewriting her story in her new ongoing project Elements. Elements is a collection of images from her past animation projects. She resets the project by reconstructing the images, then rewriting a new meaning into them and thus bringing them to a life of their own. Her most recent work Black Rose deals with identity shift and searching for mortal eternity. It is an infinite dream multiplied and mirrored reflecting one’s never-ending searching for eternal paradise.