Monday, January 24, 2011

JJ Lee at Loop Gallery

The story of this exhibit is about a story, a story of collaboration between an Artist and an Author. Ms. Lee was asked to illustrate a childrens' book, to which she accepted with enthusiasm. The story is called The White Tortoise of Ch'u. I won't give away the narrative, only to say it is certainly a story I would have read to my daughter when she was a child.
I found myself making up my own story as I walked through the exhibit. JJ's adept and childlike imagery makes it very readable. The Tortoise as in any myth is presented with several obstacles of evil to overcome, and is in the end successful in doing good and is rewarded with the knowledge of it's good deed.
The technique she uses is not the slick dineyesque imagery that seems to be often utilized in a child's story. Her approach comes from the subconscious using layers of transparent paint, ink drawing and collage, which adds a depth not usually seen in a bed time story book, and maintaining a dream like quality.
There are some of the works that really stand out for me, and do work individually. I would though find it hard to steal a part of the story and leave a piece missing from the tale, which just might make for another story itself.

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