Bong Mee Lee (MFA ’13) studied painting and drawing as an undergraduate student at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her interest in technique led her to pursue her master's degree at PAFA, where she began searching more for the paintbrush than the pencil and moved away from the black-and-white focused work she’d been creating for years.
As her work grew more conceptual at PAFA, it also grew increasingly more colorful. Thick applications of malleable latex house paint yield “paint sculptures” when she molds and manipulates them into various forms. She now channels the experience of each day -- her city, her commute, her emotional state -- through the process of mixing paint. By preserving the mixes in small jars, Lee creates personal paint sculptures akin to a calendar of days gone by.
“I needed to know the foundations before I could break the rules," she says. "All of my work is autobiographical. I respond to it and it responds to me.”