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© WooJai Lee / Studio Woojai

WooJai Lee  |  이우재
ARTIST STATEMENT
WooJai Lee's artistic practice centers around materials. Through his experiments with various materials, he seeks to unearth the hidden potential within the ordinary. By transforming these materials into unconventional applications such as furniture, interior elements, and sculptures, WooJai challenges the stereotypical approaches to working with a material. WooJai accentuates tactile qualities, thereby creating a material experience that is both felt and conveyed through the materials themselves. Through close observation, WooJai aims to foster an appreciation for the aspects of life often deemed mundane. Old newspapers, cracks in brick walls, and corners of rooms all serve as inspirations for the materials, forms, and narratives in his work. His body of work speaks to the beauty found in imperfections.


BIOGRAPHY
WooJai Lee is a Korean-New Zealander artist and designer. He was previously based in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, and Melbourne, Australia, and is currently located in Seoul, Korea. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Design Academy Eindhoven and a Master of Fine Arts from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Since 2016, WooJai has participated in multiple exhibitions across Europe and Asia. These exhibitions include venues such as the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 2022, the Saatchi Gallery in London in 2018, and the Space B-E Gallery in Seoul in 2020. Notably, his work is part of the permanent collection at the Schaudepot Lab, Vitra Museum in Germany. Additionally, WooJai is the Founder and Director of the designer collective called 'The Materialists,' established in 2017. Under his curation, this collective organized exhibitions in Rotterdam, Eindhoven, and Milan between 2017 and 2018. His creative endeavors extend beyond the art world as well. WooJai has engaged in commercial collaboration projects, including partnerships with the Swedish fashion brand COS for their store in Gwangyo, Korea, and Lynk&Co for their concept store in Amsterdam. WooJai's work and an interview with the artist were featured in Vogue Korea in 2021.


CONTACT
email: info@woojai.com
instagram: @woojai

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EDUCATION
2016 - Design Academy Eindhoven, Bachelor of Arts, The Netherlands
2022 - Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Master of Fine Arts (with Distinction), Australia

EXHIBITIONS
2023
- 한옥담닮: 한옥, 재생을 닮다, 남산한옥마을, Seoul, KR
- NIKELAB Seoul ‘Reversion : 회귀', Alver Geumho, Seoul, KR
- 사유의 형태들, 웃다리문화촌, 평택, KR
- 환경을 위한 디자인 행동주의, 청주시립미술관 오창전시관, 청주, KR
- Inside Me, 뚝섬미술관, 성수, Seoul, KR
- Dancing Grid, Space B-E, Seoul, KR
2022   
- Craft Trend Fair 2022, Coex, Seoul, KR
- RMIT Master of Fine Arts Graduation Show, Melbourne, AU
- 사이에서: Feather and Constellation. Hanji Center, Seoul, KR
- Dear My Earth. Sisterhood. Alement Dongtan, Dongtan, KR
- It’s our F***ing Backyard. Design Material Futures, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL
- Repair : Re+pair, Contributors, Amore Seongsu, Seoul, KR
2021
- Tomorrow's Vintage Pop-up, COACH Korea, Seoul, KR
- STUDIO I by IONIQ, Pairing Table, Seoul, KR
2020
- Natural Object: Jayeonmul Part 2, Weekly Cabinet, Seoul, KR
- Paper is, Space B-E Gallery, Seoul, KR
2019
- Tracing Borders, TAC, Eindhoven, NL
2018
- The Way We Face Leather, Dutch Design Week 2018, NL
- The Materialists presents Paper Extended, Salone del Mobile 2018, Milan, IT
- Collect, with Mint Gallery, Saatchi Gallery, London, GB
- OBJECT Rotterdam 2018, Rotterdam, NL
- Embracing Exchange, Cologne Design Week, Cologne, DE
2017
- Dialogue with Material, Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design, Toyama, JP
- Craft Council, Dutch Design Week 2017, Eindhoven, NL
- The Materialists presents Paper, DDW2017, Eindhoven, NL
- London Design Fair 2017, London, GB
- Mint Gallery, London Design Festival 2017, London, GB
- Schaudepot Lab, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, DE (In Permanent Collection)
- CODA Paper Art 2017, CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, NL
- Mint MetaCraft 2017, London, GB
- Ventura Lambrate 2017, Milan, IT
- OBJECT Rotterdam 2017, Rotterdam, NL
2016
- Design Academy Eindhoven Graduation Show, DDW16, Eindhoven, NL

IN COLLECTION
- Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, DE

COLLABORATION
2023 - 한섬 Tom Greyhoud x Woojai, 현대백화점, 롯데백화점, 갤러리아, KR
2020 - OIMU x Woojai Incense holders, OIMU, Seoul, KR
2020 - Lynk&Co Amsterdam Store, Space Projects, Amsterdam, NL
2020 - COS x Woojai, COS Store, Galleria Department Store, Gwangyo, KR

CURATION

2018 - The Way We Face Leather, Dutch Design Week 2018, Eindhoven, NL
2018 - The Materialists presents Paper Extended, Milan, IT
2017 - The Materialists presents Paper, DDW2017, Eindhoven, NL

EXPERIENCES
2017~2019
- The Materialists, Collective, Eindhoven, NL (Founder & Director)
2016~2020
- Studio Woojai, Eindhoven, NL
2014
- Intern at Jolan van der Wiel, Amsterdam, NL

BIBLIOGRAPHY
2022 - i-D Korea, Vice, Interview, KR
2022 - GARM Magazine, Paper, Designer Interview, KR
2021 - Styler Magazine, Showcase_BE SUSTAINABLE, Photoshoot, KR
2021 - Vogue Korea July - 가구와 오브제를 창조하는 젊은 디자이너 6인, KR
2020 - CRAFT + DESIGN, Designer Interview, KR
2020 - Creators with Purpose, Audio clip
2020 - Arctic Paper - WooJai Lee - Paper Passion
2020 - Design Milk - Studio Woojai turns waste paper into bricks and furniture
2018 - Design Collection Book, Maison Claire Korea, Interview, KR
2018 - Why Materials Matter: Responsible Design for Better World, Seetal Solanski, Prestel, DE
2017 - INGENIOUS: Product Design That Works, Promopress, CN
2017 - FD Perfoonlijk, Verliefd Op Nederland, Interview, NL
2017 - Design360 Magazine, Interview, CN
2016 - ELLE Decoration, Artwork photoshoot, NL
2016 - Designboom
2016 - Dezeen