Soluna Fine Art Showcases Korean Art in Hong Kong
Rachel Lee, co-founder of the contemporary art gallery, talks about her vision to be a bridge between Korea and the outside world
Since opening Soluna Fine Art in Hong Kong just last year, Seoul-born Rachel Lee has produced one elegantly executed exhibition after another, featuring artists such as Choi Myoung Young, Park Yoon-Kyung and Kim Yongchul — not to mention the standout solo show by ceramic artist Lee Kang Hyo, which marked the gallery’s inaugural exhibition in September 2018.
A fine artist, curator, collector and art lecturer, Rachel Lee has amassed profound knowledge and understanding of both traditional and contemporary art from South Korea. Lee studied under the tutelage of the great Korean painters such as Park Seo-bo and Choi Myoung Young at Hongik University, South Korea’s leading art school. Having previously lived in Seoul and the US, she moved to Hong Kong several years ago with her husband, who is also Soluna’s co-founder, and three young children in tow, following what she felt was her ‘calling’ to establish a gallery in Asia that would support not only artists from Korea, but also those from the across Asia.
‘Ever since I was young, I’ve always loved to talk about art. I’ve practiced as a fine artist, then lectured at universities in Korea, and curated shows on different levels; now my journey has led me to become a gallerist. When I look at the bigger picture, what I’m doing now is just an expansion or continuation of me as an artist. I understand art and artists and communicate with people.’
A pivotal point in Lee’s art career was when she was invited to participate in the annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, for which she sponsored the works of 25 Korean artists, mainly in craft arts such as ceramics, lacquer and applied art. The museum purchased two pieces for its permanent collection, and the Korean presentation attracted the attention of other art institutions and collectors around the world. ‘After this experience, I felt like it was my calling in life to work to connect people in the art industry, from artists and museums to collectors and so on. Soon after, I started a small art consultancy company and from that, Soluna Fine Art was born.’
When Lee’s not at the gallery meeting with artists or giving lectures, she’s travelling between Hong Kong and Seoul, where she manages Soluna Living, which promotes Korean fine art and crafts. She’s currently working on the upcoming exhibition of Kim Woo Young, one of Korea’s foremost contemporary photography artists, to be held at the Hong Kong gallery in September.
Text / Irene Lam
Images / Courtesy of Soluna Fine Art
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