Jiseon Lee Isbara is an artist and educator who serves as Provost at Otis college of Art and Design. She exhibits nationally and engages with viewers through lectures and discussions and collaborates and contributes to the community by serving as various roles for regional and national art and education organizations. Jiseon earned her MFA in Fibers, one from Colorado state University and one from Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea.
Through simple, essential techniques and fluid everyday textile materials, Jiseon addresses the complexity of current cultural discourse through lens of her experience as an immigrant of color. Through her work, Jiseon questions the congruity around her emotions and cultural topics around her. Magnified by current cultural and political environment, her identity as a first-generation immigrant who is a woman and person of color is unpleasantly reminded every day. While illegible texts in her work represent the displacement, she feels about the language in her adapted culture, obsessive planning is a habitual practice she embodies in her work. Texts and forms vulnerably conveys the messages or questions she ponders and the practice repeats with anxiety and obsession yet routine iteration. Thus, mundane and repetitive action plays a large role in her work. The accumulated aesthetics, materials, and processes she has garnered as an emigrant from her native culture engage in a dialogue with the uncomfortable cultural topics with which we live. Her work references traditional and historical forms; the coarse texture of the threads creates the surface and structure of the fabric, straps tied with haste or meticulous care embed meaning with no apparent logic and tiny painstakingly stitched fabric pieces reference mending and therefore labor and time. Slow and time-consuming process opposes her emotion over the subject embodied in her work. As two cultures, times, and identities collide and merge together, Jiseon intends to create a sense of order and disorder, old and new, anxiety and serenity, displacement and settlement, and ambiguity and clarity.