Jae Won Lee

(517) 432-1610

313 Kresge Art Center
600 Auditorium Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824

FacultyArt, Art History, and Design


Curriculum Vitae


Jae Won Lee makes intimate-scaled, reductive, sealed porcelain box forms, as well as porcelain sculpture shaped by numerous small multiple components of nuanced whites and off-whites and assembled into a large singular unit toward conveying the idea of white winter as a place to contemplate simplicity, silence, and solitude. Recently she has been exploring and applying this theme on works on paper and mixed media. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally.

Lee received a BFA in sculpture from California State University, Long Beach in 1991 and an MFA in ceramics from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1995.

She is currently Professor at Michigan State University and other institutes she taught include the University of Washington, Seattle, California State University, Long Beach, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camberwell College of Arts in London, the UK, and Chung Nam National University, Deajeon, Korea.

She has attended various artist-in-residence programs including the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana, the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan, the European Ceramic Work Centre, the Netherlands, Chitraniketan Artist Residency, Kerala, India, and Guldagergaard, Museum of International Ceramic Art, Denmark, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, Maine, Pottery Workshop, Shanghai, China, Chung Nam National University, Deajeon, Korea, and The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Artist Statement

A poetic investigation of floral patterns along with lunar formation focuses upon the artistic investigation of patterns inspired by traditional usages of botanical forms and decorative motifs. The structure known as Pattern inhabits the common ground between nature and culture, theory and phenomena. I am particularly interested in floral pattern for its characteristics of self-generation, repetition, and balance. This research will then be used to create a new body of surface-oriented, pattern-driven ceramic and fiber art-works that explore the divisions and unifications of nature, culture and society. I am intensely committed to pushing my own boundaries of my medium. Constant questions are raised to reach beyond the surface concerns of a visual problem and touch on profound insights.

studio notes, winter seeds,




once everything was in the earth,

there was a long period of waiting.

winter has become a right place to think.

there is so little out there.

it’s a bid to be non-specific.

a view both elegantly pristine

and eerily absent of life.

the light-filled vision

of the snowed, frozen, or frosted landscape

seems to compress the atmosphere.

a stillness highly charged.

redefine the sublime.

to make visible the interior landscape,

journeying into self.

jae won lee

University News

Two-Time Fulbright Scholar Pursues Her Art Across the Globe
Published June 28, 2023 in College of Arts & Letters
Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Michigan State University Professor Jae Won Lee returned to her native country as a Fulbright Scholar during the 2022-2023 academic year to further her…Read now »
As Mother Graduates with MFA, Daughter’s MSU Education Just Begins
Published April 30, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
Two people taking a photo together wearing msu sweatshirts
Rebecca Casement and Allison Miller are a dynamic mother-daughter duo who share a mutual love of art, a passion they both have chosen to pursue at Michigan State University in…Read now »
Art Exhibit Upcycles Plastic Waste to Address Environmental Issues
Published November 4, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
art piece with cut out letters discussing the harm of plastic on top of recycled materials
An art installation by three MSU faculty members is helping bring awareness to the issues surrounding environmentally harmful plastics and our societal dependence on them. The…Read now »