5-year Anniversary – A Mini Retrospective

I began my full-time career as a cut paper artist five years ago (the clock started with my first solo exhibition as a represented gallery artist, although I started making cut paper in summer of 2005). Looking back at the works that I have created, there are several pieces that I consider to be door openers.

“Hanging Gown” is the first piece I used the chain link fence motif. Later, I expanded the idea to create series of works including the “Little Crimes,” “Falling Water,” “Memory Windows,” and “The Butterfly Gown.”

Hanging Gown

Hanging Gown, rice paper cutout, 7×14, 2006

“Atomic Jellyfish” is the first large cut paper with an elevated level of intricacy that I created in late 2007. Although taking as long as four months to complete, it allowed me to push the technical and conceptual limits of cut paper. “Atomic Jellyfish” inspired works that came soon after that dealt with both man-made and natural powers.

"Atomic Jellyfish"

Bovey Lee, Rice paper cutout, 2007

“Beach Ball Blast” is significant as it was the first piece that I focused on environmental issues.

Beach Ball Blast

“Beach Ball Blast,” rice paper cutout, 2009

“Falling Water I–V” is the first series that I created as an installation. Coming from a painting background, I was curious to create a painterly effect using cut paper.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

Bovey Lee: Water Has A Memory, gallery shot, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Thru May 13.

“Sewing Highways” brought back the narrative-based expressions in my work. I created it after coming back from Beijing in 2010 after visiting the capital of China twenty years prior. The changes in Beijing’s landscape and people’s lives were staggering and overwhelming. It inspired me to create works on the effects of industrialization and urbanization.

Sewing Highways, cut rice paper on silk, 2011

Sewing Highways, cut rice paper on silk, 2011

“Lifting Clouds” is a recent work that explores how we use super machines and high technologies to claim ownership and alter/shape nature to our liking. I developed the concept to create many works in similar vein, such as “Trimming Feathers,” “Painting Corals,” and “Welding Branches.”

Bovey Lee, "Lifting Clouds", 2012

Bovey Lee, “Lifting Clouds”, 2012

“Vase I” modernizes traditional Chinese vases that always depict nature in purity and untouched by humanity. The fact is, there is literally no place on earth that human beings have not interrupted in some way.

Bovey Lee, "Vase I", 2012

Bovey Lee, “Vase I”, 2012


ARTINFO.com Interview

This Artinfo.com interview just went live. Editor Belle Zhao asked 14 questions about my cut paper work and practice. Hope you enjoy reading it.

The Cutter – 14 Questions for Paper Artist Bovey Lee

Pill-A | Paper Tales | Feature

Pill-A is based in Florence, Italy and they feature my cut paper work in “Paper Tales.” They pair each feature with a musical track and asked which piece of music I would like. I told them I work in silence. So they selected and recommend readers to experience my work while listening to Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.”


Paper Tales


Wall Paper



BLOOM / Bovey Lee – Upcoming Solo Exhibition

My third solo exhibition at Grotto Fine Art opens on May 9, 2012. In “Bloom,” I will showcase a collection of cut paper that many are inspired by my recent visit to Beijing since my first time there in 1989.

Power, sacrifice, and survival are the underlying themes that connect all my cut paper. The works in “Bloom” explores how our occupational roles affect rampant urbanization and adapt to the ever-changing natural landscape.

I have completed all the works in the show and am working with Grotto’s designer on the richly illustrated catalog.

Solo exhibition title: BLOOM

Opening reception: 5:30-8pm, Wednesday, May 9

Exhibition dates: May 9–June 3, 2009

Venue: Grotto Fine Art, Hong Kong

For more information and images, visit boveylee.com.



More on Rice Paper (Not Made from Rice)

In Chinese, rice paper is called “Xuan” paper. The name originated from the place where it was/is manufactured in Xuanzhou fu (today’s Jingxian) in Anhui province .

There are over sixty varieties of “xuan” paper that are made from mulberry tree barks, qintan tree barks (an elm species that sheds its barks), bamboo, hemp, and other materials. What the paper contains varies from region to region.

But overall, Chinese paper has long vegetable fibers which do not disintegrate even when fully submerged in water. This quality also allows wet mounting techniques to develop as a way to preserve, strengthen, and display (with scrolls instead of frames) the paper and the art on it.

Most of the highest quality Chinese paper made for painting and calligraphy are hand made but only accounts for 1% of the production in China today. Hand made xuan paper can involve over 140 steps.