Artist Ahree Lee Uses Asian American Home Movies in Video Installation

Los Angeles-based artist Ahree Lee talks about her newest video installations inspired by Korean bojagi, or wrapping cloths, including footage from CAAM's Memories to Light: Asian American home movies collection. Photo by Diana Li.
Los Angeles-based artist Ahree Lee talks about her newest video installations inspired by Korean bojagi, or wrapping cloths, including footage from CAAM's Memories to Light: Asian American home movies collection. Photo by Diana Li.

Last week, artist Ahree Lee showcased two new video installations at the Asian Art Museum using Asian American home movies from CAAM’s Memories to Light project.

“Your Piece is inspired by Korean wrapping cloths, or bojagi, which women pieced together out of scraps of spare material, creating an heirloom full of beauty and utility from what would otherwise be waste. Artist Ahree Lee will reimagine the bojagi as a video installation featuring two works. The first video invites the public to participate in creating a collective wrapping cloth of memories” (from the Asian Art Museum website).

Lee featured home movies from Memories to Light and re-edited them into patterns inspired by bojagi. The installation is part of the Asian Art Museum’s Artists Drawing Club, a one-day event.

Lee tells CAAM that the Memories to Light archive was an important resource for her video installation, which examined Asian American family memories. “But on a more personal level, watching digitized home movies from the archive in search of footage for my installation was a tremendously moving experience. Seeing families that looked like mine growing up, doing all the normal things families do like opening Christmas presents, blowing out birthday candles, goofing off in the backyard, having barbecues, served as a counter to the lack of all these images in the media. It was extremely powerful seeing Asian American families and mixed-race families without stereotypes, without being a token presence, simply as human beings.”

From the Ahree Lee exhibit at the @asianartmuseum today!

A video posted by @caamedia on

About Ahree Lee
Ahree Lee is a Los Angeles-based artist working primarily in video. Her works have been screened in galleries and film festivals around the world, including the United States, Morocco, Belgium and Spain. Her video work Me was a 2007 Film and Video Webby nominee and has been featured internationally in newspapers, books and magazine articles, and shown on television in the United States, Germany, Brazil and Japan. Me is in the permanent collection of the Museum of the Moving Image in New York and as of 2013 has been viewed over 9 million times on YouTube. Ahree is the recipient of a 2005 Artist Fellowship Grant in film and video from the state of Connecticut. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Art.