Categories
Americas Mobilities Slow Food Women

Chichicastenango

With eleven month old Thatcher Gray on my back, we meander our way though Chichicastenango’s Saturday market, awash in vibrant Mayan color and patterning. Starting with stone lithograph prints of rain forest inspired drawings, tracked with fresh tar then torn into squares, the process represents the fragmentation of Mayan land and culture. Atop this foundation, cultural persistence is demonstrated by Mayan traditional practices maintained despite Guatemala’s history of atrocity.

Mixed media artwork from Guatemala by Lee Lee
Mixed media artwork from Guatemala by Lee Lee
Mixed media artwork from Guatemala by Lee Lee
Mixed media artwork from Guatemala by Lee Lee
Mixed media artwork from Guatemala by Lee Lee
Mixed media artwork from Guatemala by Lee Lee
Mixed media artwork from Guatemala by Lee Lee
Mixed media artwork from Guatemala by Lee Lee
Mixed media artwork from Guatemala by Lee Lee
Mixed media artwork from Guatemala by Lee Lee
Mixed media artwork from Guatemala by Lee Lee
Mixed media artwork from Guatemala by Lee Lee
Lee Lee | Chichicastenango Market, Guatemala 2009
Mixed media including tar, sharpie, colored pencil, watercolor and gouache on torn stone lithograph
14″ x 14″ | 2010 Taos
Categories
Asia Slow Food Women

Intha Market

Inle Lake, Burma

These watermedia works on paper were created in Taos in the first year or so of Thatcher Gray’s life. They depict a meandering through the Intha market on Inle lake in Burma I took a decade earlier, when the country was considered to be on the cusp of genocide. Dominating the atmosphere is the official verbiage of Myanmar’s Military government, oppressing the space with the dingy palette of the newspaper. By 2010, I was hearing news of flat out genocidal acts being performed around the perimeter of the country by friends who were volunteering there as health workers. Their stories inspired me to reflect on the tensions felt by those who come from communities targeted; how it must feel to navigate this brutal society while maintaining an identity interwoven with traditional tribal practices. The expressions portrayed in the Intha Market series often seem tense, but as is the nature of markets, cultures may thrive in the face of oppression through the exchange and practice of culinary traditions. The ‘ghost’ paintings invoke a certain amount of freedom for me, and I consider them to be as important to the work as a whole, together with the sides I actively produced. The lack of newspaper and colors that drift unconfined by additional lines through the handmade paper acquired in the market. Some drawings contain the first scribblings of Thatcher Gray, who was just starting to learn how to hold markers in ways that he could imitate mom.

Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Intha Market, Burma watercolor by Lee Lee
Lee Lee | Intha Market, Inle Lake, Burma 2005
Mixed Media including watercolor, sharpie, pencil, ballpoint pen and gouache on local handmade paper, collaged with Myanmar’s official newspaper
roughly 11″ x 11″ | 2010 Taos
Categories
Americas Slow Food

Kalihi

Time spent in Honolulu in the first years of the new millennium was split between our home, way up in the top of the valley above Palolo, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, where I studied stone lithography with James Koga, and the studio, perched above a woodshop that built Ukeleles in the industrial zone of Kalihi. This was an area where I needed to be accompanied by a local as it was rare to see a white face there. It was in Kalihi that I found and painted these fish markets. The street scenes reflected in shop windows were painted in Chinatown, from photographs I had taken on family dim sum Sundays.

Fish market in Honolulu - oil painting by Lee Lee
Crab tanks | Private collection, Mexico
Fish market in Honolulu - oil painting by Lee Lee
On view at the Taos Distillery
Fish market in Honolulu - oil painting by Lee Lee
Red Snapper | Private collection, Providence RI
Chinatown Honolulu - oil painting by Lee Lee
Chinatown Honolulu - oil painting by Lee Lee
Chinatown Honolulu - oil painting by Lee Lee