Kiwha Lee (b. Seoul, Korea) is a visual artist based in New York asking questions about what Painting is in the 21st century and the projection of human relations in the world. Her paintings and wall objects complicate the viewer’s reading of pictorial hierarchy and visual perception. Nominated for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in 2018, she has exhibited at Fergus McCaffrey (NY, NY), Thierry Goldberg (NY, NY), Ortega y Gasset Projects, Deanna Evans Projects, Far x Wide (Brooklyn), Leroy Neiman Gallery, 205 Hudson Gallery, Collar Works (New York), and Chan+Hori Gallery (Singapore) among others. Her work has been featured prominently in publications like New American Paintings (upcoming 2023 MFA Annual #165), Vulture, The Business Times, Asian Art News, Harper's BAZAAR. Kiwha was named one of three emerging female artists in Singapore by Asian Art News Magazine in 2019 and was a finalist for the Harper's Bazaar Art Prize 2017. She has held residency at Chautauqua Institution in 2016 (New York) and the NPE Art Residency in 2018 (Singapore). Lee attended Columbia University’s School of Art for advanced painting and has completed her MFA (Painting) from Hunter College in Spring, 2022.
Having first studied at UNSW College of Fine Arts then the University of Technology Sydney in Australia (B. Visual Communication (Hons), her background holds a unique mix of visual-social, art historical and 'big idea' visionary thinking. Though young, Lee headed up Apple's strategy for Japan as an original team member of TBWA\Media Arts Lab (Apple's dedicated California-based confidential creative incubator) during the lead up to the launch of the iPhone. Drawing from lived global experience and having tasted firsthand what it is to imagine and change the way people think and live, Lee channels the empathy and knowledge of a culture miner—keenly interested in philosophy, social anthropology and semiotics to explore the shapes of identity, shared space and thresholds. Influenced by her love of travel and mission to challenge arbitrary boundaries, Lee founded the influential art space, THE FLAT, from 2013-2018 in Singapore where high/low hierarchies between fine art and craft were purposely removed. The daughter of an urban planner academic and a novelist, Lee was born in Seoul and raised on four continents, namely in the cities of New York, Sydney, Seoul, Boston and London.