For the month of August, the Library presents Stephanie S. Lee’s exhibition Back to Circle, a collection of 15 paintings inspired by the circle which often appears in Korean folk art paintings symbolizing the sun and moon. Lee explains that she believes the circle is the most complete and perfect shape, as it encompasses harmony and reincarnation. She points to the natural phenomenon where a rigid cliff breaks down and becomes a round particle of sand and the fact that all living subjects derive from one round cell to emphasize the circle’s completeness. The circle suggests various philosophical meanings to the artist, such as beginnings and ends, life and evolution. In Lee's paintings, these ideas are condensed into circles, depicted with simple and subtle strength.
Lee uses Korean folk art’s unique and colorful methods to depict coexisting fundamentals that travel from past to modern times. In this exhibition, Lee expresses philosophical paths returning to the essence through the shape of a circle. Life and death, ideal and reality, Ying and Yang: the relationship of all harmoniously coexisting things are contained inside the circle.