The Tangerine Project

Sooyeong Lee

Curated by Katie Belcher

14 Jan to 8 Apr 2023

The Tangerine Project presents work by Sooyeong Lee (Toronto, ON) which considers vulnerability, our shared anxieties, deterioration, the body, and care. The artist uses tangerines as a point of departure to consider surface and interior—not only of the physical body but of our psychological and social worlds. In this body of work, the artist takes thoughtful attention to carrying, documenting, and keeping decaying tangerines. Inky prints of deteriorating peels collected during a performance exercise reference medical transparencies. Photographs of dried tangerines point to museological curation—providing care to her collection of curiosities. She’s crocheted netted bags to carry fresh tangerines and sewn Bojagi—a traditional Korean covering cloth—from solar-printed fabric. Of her laborious learning processes, she says, “with every trial and error I’ve encountered…I celebrate the tenderness and care I’ve learned from sharing the fruit.“ The exhibition as a whole presents the artist’s attempts to hold vulnerability and generosity in a photographic moment or handcrafted object—a bruised fruit, a protective cloth, her body, our handwritten notes, a rotting peel. ”This is a survey of the tangerines as an extension of myself—my resilience, vulnerability, and restoration—my journey.”


Sooyeong Lee (she/her) is a Korean-born interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto, Ontario. Inspired by her own journey of coping with uncertainty and trauma, Lee's work stems from the practice of care and mindfulness.

Lee explores our collective vulnerability and resilience through food, textiles, photography, performance, and installation. She examines everyday perishable objects and her surroundings, sometimes her habits, to investigate strength in their forms of changing, adapting, and aging.

Previously trained in Illustration at Sheridan College, Lee graduated from OCAD University with a BFA in Sculpture and Installation. Lee’s work has been shown at Harbourfront Centre (Toronto, ON) and was presented at Flotilla (Charlottetown, PE) by Eyelevel (Halifax, NS). Most recently she has completed her curatorial residency for Tendresse! (2022) by Caravansérail (Rimouski, QC) and Alchemy Residency (Prince Edward County, ON).


With gratitude as guests, Access is located on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.


Access additionally recognizes its location in Vancouver’s Chinatown, an area for the gathering of predominantly Cantonese-speaking Chinese labourers, settlers, and businesses since the nineteenth century. Our gallery borders the site of Hogan’s Alley, an important home to Vancouver’s Black population until their forced displacement through the construction of the Georgia viaduct fifty years ago.


Access gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the following funders as well as our committed family of donors, members, and volunteers, for enabling this organization to remain vigorous and connected to the communities we support.

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