Jin Han Lee, Shower Thought, 2014, Courtesy of the artist

Jin Han Lee

b. 1982, Seoul, South Korea

2014-2018 MPhil/PhD, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London
2010-2012 MFA Fine Art, Goldsmiths, London
2002-2006 BFA Painting, Hongik University, Seoul

Recent Exhibitions

Solo shows:
2012 ‘Modernism of the Beholder’, Alternative Space LOOP, Seoul

Group shows:
2013 ‘Tradition’, Pump House Gallery, London
2012 ‘Saatchi Gallery New Sensations 2012’, B1 Space, London
2010 ‘Future’s Future’s Futures’, Korean Cultural Centre UK, London
2009 ‘2010 Guasch Coranty Painting Prize’, Center of Art Tecla Sala, Barcelona

Awards and Residencies:
2014 Emerging Artist Grant, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul

Artist’s Statement

Shower Thought (2014)

Metaphor and Lost in Metaphor

The most important part of my painting is to find a metaphor, more specifically a metaphor-embedded object/phrase/action - when I eat, read, listen and dance, I try to explore ways to paint the founded metaphor with an inclusive language, which commentates across mediums and cultures.

I looked at ‘new’ language to perceive how these languages create internal metaphors. The languages of hipsters, contemporary icons, idol fandom and the web-community, generate phrases with an implicit metaphorical thought, such as the Thai dish like 'Volcano Duck', a North Korean dictator “Kim Jong-Un," a Korean Pop song titled “NUABO” and a discussion thread of a social networking service called “Shower Thought”. These languages are closed and shared exclusively among hipsters and web communities’ registered users and fans, and enable me to delve into the process by which languages are created. My painting Shower Thought is titled and conceptualised in relation to the web language created and used online in “Shower Thought”, a sub-section of a website ‘Reddit’ where anonymously registered members submit unusual insights and thoughts that they have had during the shower. This framework for the web forum suggests that one's cognitive process in the relaxed and private context of taking a shower is one of irreverent and comic creativity, as if one acquires new eyes through which to look at the banalities of everyday life. I painted In response to the linguistic construct, 'Shower Thought', which is an intuitively understandable concept but not one that is socially designated or in common usage. In keeping with the intimacy of the phrase, I painted my immediate, personal understanding of the word ‘shower thought’ in the most literal and descriptive way. I painted myself washing my hair, looking in a mirror and thinking of the preparatory drawings for my ambitious painting.

Coming back to my attraction to metaphor, metaphor literally means “a figure of speech in which a word and phrase that is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable, in order to add rhetorical significance and vividness to language”. Metaphor functions to persuade and engage respondents through a word or phrase in a non-literal sense. To me, both the word “Shower thought” and my painting Shower Thought are the sum of a metaphor and unresolved metaphor, holding the metaphored literality.

I find and paint a lost in metaphor.