Artist Statement  

My interests and curiosities lean towards the quiet, the tactile, sensations and the internal shifts that happen within us and around us.  I often wonder how these elements can create possibility, space and bring us closer to ourselves, to others, truth and nature. For over 12 years, the works I created, investigated ways to enhance and diminish the senses, performing outdoors ripping up grapefruits, releasing ladybugs, guiding the audience to walk with their eyes closed.

In the past couple of years, I happened upon many questions including “What is our original nature, our original home?” “What does it means to be Asian American woman?”  As a result, I have been grappling with ancestral history, identity, memory, shame and meanings of food and home. This has led me to look at my mother and her isolation and my father and his relationship to anger and animals.  I attempt to tell this story thru my body, voice, object and film making.


Helen Lee creates performance and visual art works that weave and mesh storytelling, 16mm film, home videos, animation, taxidermy, installation and social practice.  She was born and raised in Chicago to immigrant parents from South Korea.

Lee is a recent MFA graduate from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago .  In 2003, she received her BA in Dance Performance and Choreography with a minor in Acting from University of Hawaii at Manoa.  Helen has been teaching yoga since 2007 and has studied and/or taught Mexico, Belize, Finland, Italy, India, China and South Korea.

In 2007, she formed a performance company named Momentum Sensorium.  She was a performer and contributor for Rachel Bunting’s The Human for 11 years.  She has presented work at Links Hall, LUMA, Northwestern University, Michigan Lighthouses and various site specific venues.  She was an artist in residence for DanceBridge at Chicago Cultural Center, Arteles Creative Center in Finland and had a Solo Exhibition at CICA Museum in South Korea.  She was awarded SAIC’s Graduate Dean Professional Development Award to attend The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics Convergence hosted by York University and was Chicago Moving Company’s D49 Awardee and Affiliate Artist for Dance Shelter.