HANNA LEE JOSHI Korea / Canada

“It is my way of coming to terms with being ok with taking up space; in society, in my day to day life. My pieces range from exploring a feeling of being contained within social constraints or self-created limitations to depicting the ceaseless chase for freedom. For me, it is a therapeutic reclaiming of how female bodies are depicted, little by little dismantling any internalized misogyny or any notion of how a woman should be or behave. It is a constant process where I am attempting to redefine how I see myself.”


Hanna Lee Joshi is a Korean Canadian artist based in Vancouver, whose art is characterised by a mix of smooth figurative forms and voluminous abstract compositions created with gouache and coloured pencil. Distinguished by a vibrant, colourful palette, her works focus on the body image conferring a sense of intimacy and vulnerability to her characters, depicted in playful poses with delicate nuances and luminous transparencies. Joshi subverts the tradition of the nude figure by rendering enlarged curved torsos and limbs in bold shades, bright hues and flesh tones. In addition, her works are comprised of vivid gradients to confer at the faceless figures, a nod to how her individual experience relates to the universal journey shared by humanity. Joshi’s unclothed figures also share messages with the positions of their elongated fingers and hands, depicting them with yogic mudras to embody “the beautifully poetic gestures that are so loaded with powerful symbolism”. Reclaiming the goddess within the artist explores the theme of embodying an ephemeral spirit by finding a new otherworldly way to depict the woman.