Slide Show: From Start to Finish

It’s been a really long time since my last post and it feels great to be back!

Thanks to those of you who keep reading BoveyBlog.

This year has been totally insane and it is astonishing we are in November already. Where does the time go?

Oh, right, mine all went to cutting paper. Many people are curious how I create my work.

Here’s a slide show that offers insight into what it takes for me to make a cut paper piece. Hope you enjoy it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bovey Lee: Conundrums Gallery Shots, Rena Bransten Gallery

Opened my solo Bovey Lee: Conundrums on January 17. Beautifully curated and displayed at Rena Bransten Gallery in San Francisco. Here are some gallery shots.

Bovey Lee: Conundrums, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, Jan 17-Mar 16.

Bovey Lee: Conundrums, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, Jan 17-Mar 16.

Bovey Lee: Conundrums, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, Jan 17-Mar 16.

Bovey Lee: Conundrums, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, Jan 17-Mar 16.

Bovey Lee: Conundrums, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, Jan 17-Mar 16.

Bovey Lee: Conundrums, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, Jan 17-Mar 16.

What to Come in Early 2013?

The new year begins with a big bang! There are several upcoming exhibitions and art fairs to come and all before the first half of 2013.

You can see my works at these locations:

January 17-March 9, Bovey Lee: Conundrums, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco


Bovey Lee, Briefcase Vacation-Fall, 2012

February 21-July 14, Paper Unbound: Horiuchi and Beyond, Wing Luke Museum, Seattle

Bovey Lee, Memory Windows I, 2010

Bovey Lee, Memory Windows I, 2010

March 6-10, Scope, New York

Bovey Lee, Dragging Cows Up A Tree, 2011

Bovey Lee, Dragging Cows Up A Tree, 2011

March 30-May 11, Bovey Lee: Cut Paper (TBA), Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach


Bovey Lee, Trimming Feathers, 2012

May 23-26, Art Basel, Exhibition and Convention Center, Hong Kong

Bovey Lee, Vase 3, 2012

Bovey Lee, Vase 3, 2012

Questions from Karla Nixon, Fine Art Student, Durban University of Technology, South Africa

1) In interviews you have had, the question ‘why paper?’ often comes up, you mention its humbleness, the familiarity everyone has with it, as well as the personal and cultural significance you have with rice paper. My question is, why is paper the most suitable medium to convey your concepts of power, sacrifice and survival? Do you think you could use any other medium as effectively?

The fragility of cut paper creates the strongest contrast and paradox against the concepts that are dense and complex. I don’t think there is a better material/medium that can be as effective.

2) I have found, through my experiences, that the technique and medium can easily overpower the conceptual underpinning. Are there certain devices that you employ to either overcome or utilize the seductive quality of the paper-cutting?

Cut paper historically links to craft and reeducation is important to unlink what’s expected and understood of the medium. It is my goals to re-inform and challenge people what cut paper could be capable of conceptually and ask them to look beyond just the material and techniques. To achieve that, it is very important that my work is idea-driven. The idea comes first and foremost. I tend to construct highly complex narratives and they justify (even require) the intricacy and labor-intensive process that follows. I don’t necessarily want or try to overcome the seductive quality of cut paper. I want viewers’ attention so when they look closer, deeper, and longer, they realize there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

3) Other then tackling contemporary issues in your work, what makes you a contemporary paper-cutter? If you didn’t mention it in the above question, what, if any, postmodern strategies/devices do you employ in your work? (please refer to specific works if you feel applicable)

I utilize the computer in my work to compose images for the cut paper and my work has a level of digital aesthetics. Using a highly sophisticated machine to prepare for what is created entirely by hand is interesting and quite refreshing if you consider how most things are made since Industrial Revolution.

In forming the image, the method I use takes images at their face value to generate new meanings and concepts within the work, eradicating the inherit burden of time, space, geography, culture, and context. There is plenty of high and low culture conflation in my work and essentially the images are complex and fused collages of fragments. As a result, my work is often an irony and parody, with or without playfulness and humor.

In “Tsunami-Oblivious” for example, the waves are referenced from Houkusai’s famous woodblock print, the girl on the couch is a recent photo taken in a Malaysian village, I placed a photo of myself taken in my studio as one of the characters floating in currents, the oil rigs are from different countries around the world, the plane is the US Airways flight that landed safely on the Hudson river, and virtually all the other images are existing and from different sources.

Bovey Lee, “Tsunami–Oblivious”, 2009

4) What is your favorite work you’ve made to date? Why? Please include the concept behind the work.

I very seldom think about what work is my favorite. A work is an open door to the next work and to the next, and so on and so forth. However, there are several pieces such as “Hanging Gown”, “Atomic Jellyfish”, and “St. Sebastian Fantasy” that I consider to be significant in setting the tones and directions for other works.

Bovey Lee, “Hanging Gown”, 2006

Bovey Lee, “Atomic Jellyfish”, 2007

Bovey Lee, “St. Sebastian Fantasy (front)”, 2006

5) If you have time, please tell me about your work “Baking McMansion”.

“Baking McMansion” is a piece about what we broadly define as “a good life” today – a family of working parents and beautiful children living in and expanding an extravagant, mansion-like dwelling with luxurious vehicles, domestic helpers, manicured landscaping, and etc.. I compare this life building and expectation to baking a huge, fancy cake on the pedestal.

Bovey Lee, “Baking McMansion”, 2011 Interview

This 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

“Bamboo Ballet” in ART HK 12

Overlapping BLOOM/Bovey Lee was ART HK, a major international art fair in Hong Kong. ART HK last year attracted approximately 60,000 audiences in just a short few days.

Acquired by and produced with Art Basel, ART HK 12 took place on two floors at the sprawling and enormous Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre from May 17-20. I had the pleasure to attend this year and my cut paper “Bamboo Ballet” was shown with Grotto Fine Art, a leading contemporary gallery representing my work in Hong Kong.

Below is a slide show of the art fair during the VIP preview on May 16.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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