Heesoo Lee’s work explores the vulnerability of the human condition through the metaphor of the natural world. Her artistic language, formed by observations of material, nature, and place, engages with themes of identity, connection, and time. In describing subtle variations of light, texture, color, and shadow as they exist in nature, Lee is, fundamentally, illuminating a range human emotions and the humbling reality of being a feeling person in a vast and changeable world.

Her sculptural vessels are created from porcelain and white stoneware and, after construction, are painted with layer upon layer of underglaze. Her painting medium of pigmented clay is so light that it often requires thirty or more layers to achieve the magnificent depth and realism for which she has become renown, but the analogy to painting ends in the kiln.  During firing, the layers of underglaze can react with one another and change colors; at higher temperatures, yellows, reds and oranges want to evaporate out. As a result, Lee’s handling of the ceramic material, though intricate and precise, is also marked by an intuitive use of imagery and surface treatments that offer reward through risk-taking. Lee’s work resonates with feeling, reflecting on human moments of transcendence marked by both strength and fragility as fleeting encounters with the world are made profoundly permanent.

Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Heesoo earned her BA in art from Ewha University.  Heesoo began a full-time studio practice in Berkeley, CA in 2000. From there, she relocated to Maui, where she established a thriving studio business. Heesoo was a summer resident at the Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts in 2013 and returned in the fall of 2014 as a long-term resident artist. She is currently a full time studio artist in Helena, MT


Heesoo Lee CV


                          -Studio Potter, Heesoo Ceramics


1996                 -Fine Arts Degree, E-Wha Women’s University, Seoul, Korea


2014-2016     -Artist in Residence, Long Term Resident, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT

2013               -Artist in Residence, Summer Resident, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT


2016               - Americano Invitational, AKAR Design, Iowa City, IA

                      - Archie Bray at the Kolva-Sullivan Gallery, Spokane, WA

                      - 2nd Year Archie Bray Fellowship Exhibition, Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT

                      - Resident Artist Exhibition, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT

                      - Archie Bray Foundation: Resident and Visiting Artists Exhibition, Belger Arts Center, Kansas City, MO

                      - Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Design, Iowa City, IA

2015              - From the Belly of the Archie Bray, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IO

                      - First Year Fellowship Exhibition, The Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT

                      - Resident Artist Exhibition, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT

                      -Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics, Zanesville, OH

                      -Beyond the Morning Calm, Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, IL

                      -Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale, Icheon, S. Korea

2014             - Porcelains, TRAX Gallery, Berkeley, CA

2013              -Archie Bray at the Kolva Sullivan Gallery, Spokane, WA

                     -Resident Artists Exhibition, The Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT

2007, 2006, 2005

                    -Artists of Maui: An Assembly of Maui’s Finest Artists, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Wailea, HI


2015             -The Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT

                     - Florida Heat Surface, Morean Arts Center, Saint Petersburg, FL

                     - FireFest, STARworks, Star, NC

2014             - University of Montana, Bray Days, Missoula, MT


                     -The Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA


                     -Ceramics Monthly Magazine, “Studio Visit”, Summer issue 2011 -Ceramics Monthly Magazine, “Up Front”, 2011