"I'm an artist and graphic designer based in Toronto. I'm interested in creating art that's representative of every day life but is sometimes refocused by a lens of surrealism and tarnished by mechanical accidents of the medium and failures of the hand. My goal is to elicit some sort of emotion and surprise that's unique to visual art and to my own voice."
James Chia Han Lee is one of the artists in the Fierce Tidings art exhibition at the Gene Siskel Film Center in conjunction with the FAAIM 22nd Annual Asian American Showcase which runs March 31st through April 12th, 2017. We asked him a few questions about his work and artistic practice!
-Does your identity or how you identify yourself inform your work in any way?
Probably, but not actively or consciously.
-When making your work, do you have certain expectations or do you aim for a specific reaction in your audience and the viewer? (Do you care about how the message of your work is received?)
I'd like for it to pull some sort of personal emotion/sensation from the viewer, whether it recalls a memory or the aesthetics simply work well enough to flip a switch somewhere in their head. My current intent lies simply in building moods and emotional environments that people would hopefully like to spend some time in. I aim to make beautiful things and I aim for connection.
-Does art serve a purpose for you outside of just beauty or aesthetics?
Internal mediation and meditation. Connecting with others. The big thing is that enjoy all the technical challenges and the questions it brings up as a creator.
-How do current events affect your practice?
I don't know, sorry. Probably not very much.
-Do you feel you are more reactive or more reflective when you create?
Reflective. If my art were a band, it probably plays whatever the opposite of punk music is, in its room by itself.