For many months now, it’s been impossible to go downtown and not notice the striking new landmark on the corner of Exchange Terrace and Dorrance Street. The tall wooden sculpture, entitled “Lotus,” is by internationally renowned Korean artist JaeHyo Lee, and temporarily resides here in Providence thanks to a partnership between The Avenue Concept, CYNTHIA-REEVES Gallery, and RISD Museum. We’d love to hear your thoughts about this addition to the Providence cityscape.
Artist Profile: JaeHyo Lee
JaeHyo Lee is a South Korean artist who graduated from Hong-Ik University in 1992. The recipient of numerous international art awards, Lee’s work has been installed in prominent sites all over the world. He has gained an international reputation for innovative sculpture, in both functional and non-functional approaches.
In his art, Lee explores the true meaning of nature and this is expressed through his forms and his use of natural materials—including hardwoods, bamboo, and leaves. He explains, “I certainly do not have the power to create ‘beauty.’ I just hope to reveal the beauty in what is usually seen but not noticed. If one looks closely, one sees how beautiful simple elements can be.”
INFLUX project: Lotus
The monumental work was installed last fall as part of INFLUX, an explosion of public art encounters by The Avenue Concept. Cited for its meticulous craftsmanship, “Lotus” is a conical pillar comprised of Korean big cone pine logs that are burned, shaped, and hand carved, stretching up 20 feet on a steel armature.
“This project created a common ground that brought private, public, union, and city entities working together as equals to install a significant piece of public art in a sustainable and scalable way that is supported by the entire community,” notes Yarrow Thorne, founder & artistic director of The Avenue Concept. Based in New York City, CYNTHIA-REEVES Gallery represents the artist JaeHyo Lee and is committed to artwork that provokes a discourse, something The Avenue Concept works to stimulate as well.
Catch it while you can
“Lotus” originally made its debut in New York City’s popular Union Square Park in the spring of 2013, a collaboration with New York City Parks, the Union Square Association, and CYNTHIA-REEVES, before it traveled to Sarasota, Florida for the annual Season of Sculpture Exhibition in 2014. The work will remain on display in Providence—enhancing our city and stimulating conversations—through the summer of 2016.