Judson-Morrissey 2023 Fellow: Yasmin Lee

Whether the subject is juxtaposed with humor or vibrance, I (the giver of good vibes) pioneers a practice that encompasses my love for narrative and self. My works use multiple lenses to contemplate the relationship between the viewer, the subject’s perception, and the subject’s intended performance. Utilizing film, photography, and sculpture, I blend figuration with the internal to uncover what lies beneath the surface. Elements of intimacy and closeness are present in each piece to offer a voice to the ghost of personality and disposition. Through this subtle disruption orchestrated by mixed media works, I invite vulnerability and humanity into the scene. My works are presented both as objects and as videos, often representing a shared thread between diverse, sometimes racialized, individuals. Inspired by the thought patterns within my mind, the arrangement of these bodies represents these threads. The process I follow is driven by intuition, generational memory, and lived experiences that investigate immediate ideologies surrounding intersectionality and self-presentation. This marriage between seen and unseen identities enters a space where the central figures interrogate mass perceptions as a display of freedom and sincerity.

Tell us a little about your background and your trajectory as an artist/ scholar

I’m a Sagittarius, vegetarian, who is a South Carolinian filmmaker, screenwriter, and interdisciplinary artist. Thriller mystery (sometimes fantastical adventure) has influenced my work in several ways. I pioneer a practice that encompasses my love for narrative. My work complicates the viewer’s voyeurism onto my characters. As a female director, I utilize film and photography to restore power to my female subjects. Therefore, using multiple lenses to contemplate the relationship between the viewer and the intended performance of a subject grounds my work.

What are some of your main influences?

Some of my main influences entail lived experiences, cartoons, Shakespeare, the Romantic era, and spiritualism. This may seem like a random assortment, but all of these subjects are in tandem with my work. The romantic era especially because the writings and paintings during that time were based in nature and conveyed poetic lessons taught by the natural world. I feel the most inspire when I engage with work from these influences.

What are you working on now?

Currently, I’m doing research about directing and practical effects. I am attending Yale University’s Director’s Workshop and look forward to using what I will learn there to help shape my upcoming short film about friendship… an unlikely pair of friends who unravel.