Jeong Lee (she/her)
Jeong Lee(b. 2000) explores what it means to draw food from a lesbian perspective. Her works analyse the meaning of shared meals in lesbian relationships and communities and their surrounding narratives. Concentrating on the theme of ‘food’, the artworks represent how lesbians nourish and care for each other.
The series of paintings are not only still-life paintings of finished foods but also include a continuous process of preparing food. The dynamic gestures of cooking including cutting, peeling, mixing, arranging, and boiling are reinvented by the gestural strokes of pastels and the fluidity of acrylic.
Based on numerous things seen and experienced in life, creating artworks for sensual and intellectual pleasure is similar to cooking food with given ingredients. The two acts can be associated because their results are not in a vacuum, but reveal very unique aspects such as an individual’s socio-cultural background, taste, and habits. Regarding these similarities, Her practices suggest the act of cooking and creation as means of exerting lesbian creativity and fulfilling desire.
Lesbian Stone Soup
In her writing of A Press of Our Own Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press(1989) Barbara Smith wrote that “We chose our name because the kitchen is the center of the home, the place where women in particular work and communicate with each other. We also wanted to convey the fact that we are a kitchen table, grass roots operation, begun and kept alive by women who cannot rely on inheritances or other benefits of class privilege to do the work we need to do”. Also, Barbara criticised that the lesbian feminist movement underrepresented the voice of women of colour. She noted that the Kitchen Table Press frequently used graphic design languages from indigenous African, Asian, Latino, and Indian to reveal the author’s cultural background. Similarly, food can reflect how traditions, race, and culture intersect at one’s table. We need a more microhistorical lens for how lesbians survived from all different geopolitical areas.
The title of the series, ‘lesbian stone soup’, is a variation of the recipe titled ‘stone butch soup’ from the Butch Cook Book. It is a lesbian version of the famous folk story in which hungry people added a small portion of ingredients to the boiling pot of water and stone. The ‘stone butch soup’ is not only the wordplay between ‘stone butch’ and ‘stone soup’, but it also reveals potluck economics among lesbians, in which we cooperatively nourish each other from the scratch.