Helen Lee
Canada / Korea
Helen Lee was born in 1965 in Seoul, Korea, and grew up in Toronto, Canada. She studied English and Film Studies in Ontario, Toronto and New York before starting a course in Critical and Curatorial Studies at the Whitney Museum under Homi Bhabha and Benjamin Buchloh. In 1994 she worked as an assistant to the Canadian director Atom Egoyan on his film "Exotica", and in the same year completed her practical film training at the Canadian Film Centre, where she realised her first short films: "Sally’s Beauty Spot" (1990), a reflection on western notions of Asian femininity; "My Niagara" (1992), a Japanese-Canadian woman’s memories of her dead mother, and "Prey" (1995), the love story between a young woman from Korea and a shop-lifter. "Subrosa" (2000), Helen Lee’s fourth film, tells of a Canadian woman’s search for her mother in Korea.

Alongside her film work Helen Lee is also active in the field of Media Art. In 1992, she contributed to the collaborative installation "Those Fluttering Objects of Desire" with a three-minute sequence entitled "To Sir with Love", devoted to issues of sexuality, gender difference and race discrimination. The short video "M. Nourbese Philip" (1995), described by the artist herself as a "visual poem", is an homage to the poet of the same name. In "The Yoko Ono Project" (1996), Helen Lee recalls the multi-faceted artist and life partner of John Lennon using various forms of projection (film, video, slides).

Helen Lee’s films and video installations could be seen world-wide at international festivals and have received numerous prizes, including at the International Film Festival in Toronto. Here she also premiered her first full-length feature film, the romantic comedy "The Art of Woo" (2001), which was subsequently shown in cinemas.
In 2002, during her Berlin fellowship from the Artists’ Programme of the DAAD, Helen Lee worked on a screenplay based on the memoirs of her aunt, author In-Sook Kim. At the same time, she developed the video installation "Cleaving" (2002), which was premiered at the Werkleitz Biennial. Helen Lee lives in Toronto.