Korean Art and Korean Antiques

Reflect by Jahee Lee, Mirror Made of Antique Materials


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'Reflect' by Jahee Lee, mirror constructed entirely of antique wood, metal, and textile with the ten symbols of longevity (sipjangsaeng), only the glass is new. 47.5 x 30 inches, 120.5 x 76 cm. Growing up with parents who were social workers in a traditional Korean Hanok house of hand-hewn timber, Jahee Lee developed both a deep affection for people and for traditional materials. When her parents' orphanage, the Lighthouse in Haenam (est. 1953) was recently demolished, she decided to use the materials from the building to create mirrors. Someone else would probably have used the materials to create furniture or other structures, but mirrors are a thought-provoking choice. Jahee says "A mirror is an object that has many delicate layers of meaning. Through this object you can realize the meaning behind yourself and see within your life. When you are facing a mirror you cannot deny your feelings or deceive yourself. The mirror tells you exactly the truth with clarity that you cannot deny, it embraces you as you are, and it makes you think about yourself and how you relate to your world around you. I hope that by using materials from the old Lighthouse orphanage, the love and warmth and traditional values taught and practiced there will live on and inspire the person who looks in this mirror."