Black Rose, 2021 is a solo exhibition by internationally acclaimed intermedia artist Hye Rim Lee, the Auckland-based Korean New Zealand artist. This is also the first exhibition in Ahuriri Contemporary in Napier, a new space for Boyd-Dunlop Gallery, located upstairs in Hastings Street. 

The exhibition draws together works created from her recent 3D animation Black Rose, including a series of digital prints, and is now open for viewing.

Lee explores instinct, fantasy and sexual innuendo through mythological elements of identity. Through her creation, TOKI, a hybrid form of human/bunny, she explores contemporary pop culture and cyber trends with the challenge of mixing old mythology and contemporary myth-making.

Her work has developed and grown through a conceptually evolving representation of the TOKI character in her ongoing TOKI/Cyborg Project since 2002. Her work is ambitious, expansive and conceptually and technically honed: with each new project surpassing the previous genesis of TOKI.

In this new body of work ‘Black Rose’  Hye Rim moves away from the earlier TOKI narrative.  In Black Rose, TOKI morphs into the Rose Queen, a departure from earlier works as the themes are less about gender and more about the search for identity and eternal paradise and spirituality within Hye Rims created fantasy world.  

Lee’s photos and video installations tell a fantasy of intermingling of Eastern and Western popular culture, of new technologies and how they influence tradition. Her complex fantasy world evokes a nostalgia for childhood, videogame dynamics intended for a male public and a fascination with new technologies – and femininity in relation to the media. Through her numerous works she demonstrates that the exploitation of the female body is still very much a relevant question.

With more than 300 exhibitions worldwide, Lee’s works have become part of major art collections in Seoul, Korea, Europe and North America. 

Exhibition: October 15th until November 15th, 2021 
Address: Ahuriri Contemporary, 6 Hastings St, Napier (upstairs) 



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