‘Paradise Limited’ by Young Joo Lee

Young Joo Lee, Paradise Limited, 2017. 3-channel loop animation installation, 17 minutes.


In Paradise Limited (2017), Young Joo Lee presents the lush wilderness and uneasy tension of the Korean Demilitarized Zone in a 3-channel loop animation. Atmospheric charcoal, CGI, and filmed, painted faces mingle in this liminal space. Bookended by mirror-twin militaries, rare flora and fauna flourish in the space between, taking sanctuary in an area kept free of human encroachment by antagonism and fear. Eventually, figures from the two sides meet in the middle, joining the wilderness together as a hybrid creature born when the opposing soldiers reconcile.


Young Joo Lee (b. 1987 Seoul, Korea) is a 2018–2020 Open Sessions fellow. She combines inspiration from her dreams with personal and political histories to create drawings, sculptures, performance and films. Animation became one of her primary tools because of its endless capacity to merge reality and fantasy. Charcoal scroll drawings, performance and digital puppetry mix to create an imagined journey into her dreams. The subjects of the narratives of these works derive from her experiences as an immigrant living in Germany and USA, and her observations on how an individual’s perception of reality is shaped by the cultures, genders, nationalities and histories one identifies themselves with. Lee’s work is a glimpse into how our environments are not only outside of us, but how they truly alter our perception and inform our personal identities.


To submit a video proposal to our online gallery, please email Isabella Kapur, Curatorial Assistant, at ikapur@drawingcenter.org, including a brief description and a video link.