Illinois artist Jiyong Lee uses a special glass technique called cold working to create his unusual segmented sculptures inspired by the growth of cells. The artworks, part of a series called Segmentation, are created without glass blowing or kilns, but instead through a labor-intensive process of cutting, sanding, laminating, and carving. Lee shares about his work via his artist statement:
The segmentation series is inspired by my fascination with science of cell, its division and the journey of growth that starts from a single cell and goes through a million divisions to become a life. I work with glass that has transparency and translucency, two qualities that serve as perfect metaphors for what is known and unknown about life science. The segmented, geometrical forms of my work represent cells, embryos, biological and molecular structures—each symbolizing the building blocks of life as well as the starting point of life. The uniquely refined translucent glass surfaces suggest the mysterious qualities of cells and, on a larger scale, the cloudiness of their futures. The Segmentation series is subtle and quiet yet structurally complex.
To be clear, the images you see here are photographs of Lee’s work and are not digital renderings. His extraordinary attention to use of color and translucency in each object creates surprising optical effects. You can learn a bit more about Lee’s work in the video below from the Corning Museum of Glass and see some of his recent sculptures at Duane Reed Gallery.
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. You'll connect with a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, read articles and newsletters ad-free, sustain our interview series, get discounts and early access to our limited-edition print releases, and much more. Join now!