JIYOUN LEE-LODGE | Waterman: Coloring the Stranger: Granary Arts

8 February - 5 May 2023

“If I mimic what an ideal life looks like in a new place, will I blend in well?”

Waterman: Coloring the Stranger explores the adaptation of a stranger in a new place. Jiyoun Lee-Lodge began this series as a journal-like notation when she moved from New York to Utah, and struggled to settle in. The persona of Waterman acts as a stand-in for both personal and universal experience while referencing pop culture, and themes of alienation and belonging. Lee-Lodge began this multi-year series by asking: 


“If I mimic what an ideal life looks like in a new place, will I blend in well?”


She illustrates herself as shifting water that repels, absorbs, reflects – a figure struggling to find a place within its environment. The soft aspen backgrounds reflect her notions of “a better life” in Utah, traced in a delicate thin line as though it might dissolve into the scene when the viewer loses focus.


Inspired by Edward Hopper's works, Lee-Lodge continued to explore displacement, anxiety, and isolation throughout the pandemic. She was confined to her house, experiencing absolute solitude and loneliness in a space meant to provide comfort. She mediated her access to the outside world through a screen – a digital window – that acted as both a means of connection and a source of alienation. A window that opens to excess: ideas, information, the deluge of emojis, and the exhausting cacophony of what Bo Burham calls "anything and everything all of the time."


Lee-Lodge navigates alienation caused by the pursuit of an ideal life. In the film “Pleasantville” the story begins in black-and-white, reflecting a perfect, ideal, and emotionless world. As the primary character opens themselves to feeling, the world turns to color little by little. Lee-Lodge draws a parallel between her process of “coloring” the Waterman to an acceptance and transcendence of her hope for active and open communication among people, just like the film. 


More info on the exhibition here - www.granaryarts.org/jiyoun-leelodge-waterman


About the Artist

Jiyoun Lee-Lodge is a Korean-born, Salt Lake City, Utah based artist who works in painting, drawing, installation, and public art. Her work explores her personal identity in flux, the fragility of memory, and how people process and change. Her selected exhibitions include Modern West Fine Arts, UMOCA (Utah Museum of Contemporary Art), Gallery Mint, Southern Utah Museum of Art, Bountiful Davis Arts Center, Salt Lake Community College Gallery, Jamaica Center for Arts, Gallery Korea, Art Mora, 437CO gallery, and more. She won the Utah Statewide Annual (2019), Small Matters Exhibition, and was nominated as an NYC Urban Canvas finalist. Lee-Lodge has completed public commissioned murals for PS144Q, Forest Hills, NY (2019) and 600 South TRAX station in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is the recipient of the UMOCA Artist-in-Residence, Modern West Fine Arts Artist-in-Residency, Manhattan Graphics Center Workspace Fellowship in New York, ArtMora Residency Program in New York; and a Teaching fellowship at Brooklyn College.