Photo credit @alignements

Yellow Hairy Balls


During the residency, SUNGJAE LEE will develop his durational performance piece “Yellow Hairy Balls” that reclaims the skin color and desire of Asians by covering his body with yellow clay and human hair. As a gay Asian man prone to be double-rejected in Western society, he has focused on how to build his own notion of masculinity and visualize Asian queerness through his performance practice. To expand the spectrum of his practice and make it more resonating with larger communities, the artist will conduct and review his interview with other queer Asians’ desire and their experiences of invisibility. He will also run a workshop with queer Asians throughout the residency in order to share stories of living abroad, investigate a safe way of desiring in conjunction with racial hierarchy, and ultimately find their own the definition of Queer and Asian. Based on the findings during his time at HCL, the artist expects to showcase either a live performance with the workshop participants or a sound film including their voices/narration.

To activate a conversation among queer Asians and represent the diversity of our lives, I decide to run a workshop where we can share our stories and do creative activities together (writing, discussing a specific theme/article, movement practice, etc). I want to work with you on every step of the art-making process and eventually create a new version of “Yellow Hairy Balls.”

To learn more about the workshops and how to participate, click here.


Photo credit Gonzalo Guzman, Art Dir Shirley Ellis, Tech Denny Chan


SUNGJAE LEE is a multidisciplinary artist working in performance, installation, text, and video. He probes the relationship between societal fringes and normativity in order to increase the visibility of marginalized groups. He received his M.F.A. and B.F.A. in Sculpture from Seoul National University. He has presented his works globally, including at the Seoul Museum of Art, Art Sonje Center (Korea), Galleri CC, KHM gallery (Sweden), Links Hall, Zhou B Art Center, and Zimmerli Art Museum (USA). He has recently performed at the “RIPA 8″ at Darling Foundry (Montreal), “New Masculinities Festival” at the LGBT Center, and “ITINERANT Performance Art Festival” at Last Frontier (NYC). He is currently living and working in Chicago, IL and has recently completed his masters degree in Performance Art at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in May 2019.