Artist Statement by Jun Lee

When I was in first grade, there was a man who sold chicks outside of my school. They were so cute and appealing I had no choice but to buy one. I prepared my chick a bed and some food, but within a week it passed away. I did not know why it died and cried for days. Over time, I purchased several more chicks, but none survived longer than a month. After that, I promised myself that I would never get a chick again.

This unforgettable childhood memory has been my obsession and inspiration for quite some time and made me realize the inescapable truth of life: that competition always surrounds us.

The body of my work attempts to evoke the different moments of our competitive lives; pieces that express the spectrum of competition from hiding away to preparing for a fight. The reality is that all life is competition and we create barriers in our minds that allow us to think we have a space we can step into where the competition stops. That constructed space allows us to regroup and enter the next fight toward our goal. Every attempt might not succeed or look glorious, but every victory is built upon the foundation of loss, suffering, effort, and sacrifice. The ability to be successful is not dependent on the number of triumphs that you have, but rather your willingness to get up and continue the struggle after a defeat.

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