Artist profile: Sol Lee
Sol Lee is an emerging female artist and recent Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) graduate, at the University of New South Wales. Her work is rooted in exploring the complexities of human psychology, philosophy and sexuality. When asked if she produces art work that is comedic or light hearted, she shakes her head vigorously. “My passion is derived from transforming deeper social and cultural issues, into symbolic art pieces that echo a strong message.”
Sol Lee doesn’t come across as pretentious but rather someone who has a strong inquisitive nature and a passion for debate. Her curiosity is inked all over her artwork, as each project delves deeper into issues that are censored and glossed over by mainstream media. When I ask Sol Lee what her proudest artistic pieces are, she tells me: “Artwork that is a reflection of my personal experiences but also frames issues that have broader and universal impacts, on our society.”
Her latest project is on the concept of Post Humanism. She focuses on the advancement of science, as well as the dismantling of civil rights frontiers, that challenge and change the idea of humanity. With scientific research and innovations rapidly accelerating, what it means to be a human is gradually evolving. The development of 3D printing human organs, genetic engineering, Cyborgs and artificial intelligence are ground breaking inventions and Sol Lee uses her artwork to navigate the potential impact these discoveries will have on humanity. “This could modify what the future humans would look like and human species will evolve either naturally to adapt to the altered environments or due to artificial modifications or even both.”
Sol Lee says this project aims to view the concept of humans, through a more fluid lens. There is comfort in retaining core values, ideas and theories but wouldn’t that stifle the intrinsic human desire to strive for further knowledge? Ideas that deviate from the norm, have often been met with resistance and ostracized as ‘bizarre’. Sol’s project hopes to disassemble the notion that you have to placate to society’s standards. Sol Lee says, “Society’s narrow minded ideals are broadening and what was considered acceptable as a human 50 years ago, may be illegal now, similarly what was considered a crime 50 years ago, may be accepted as normal now.”
In the face of such swift reversals, she questions the notion of what makes something human and non-human. She is compelled towards exploring the idea of which aspects of the human being will diminish and what will remain. What if humanity was just a blank slate – with no preconceived rules dictated for all? Sol says her Post Human project will reflect the idea of the minimal human being. “The shapes and details of my artwork were left simple and ambiguous, as I wanted them to have only the minimal basic human qualities. I didn’t want to impose a concrete human,” she says.
Sol uses mixed media – from paintings and sculptures, to contrasting materials such as silicone, plywood boards, modelling clay and faux hair. Her aim? “To represent the diversity in humanity.” Sol’s post human project features hyper realistic sculptures and paintings that look like hybrid human shapes, with elements of humanity, merged with new and unfamiliar details. This is to showcase how humanity as we know it, may be alien and completely obsolete to humans in the future.