Meet, Lee Joo Won, Abstract Painter from South Korea


July 5, 2022

The House Magazine

Photo by Kim Si Woo

Lee Joo Won has pursued a career in his artwork. He was inspired by many other artists and had a passion for it before it became his job as well. One defining moment in Joo Won’s life that made him decide to pursue a career in art was the first time his work was sold on exhibition. The gallery director told him that there was someone who supported him and his work. The first time his art became public was when an artist from every country was picked to showcase their best project. He was selected in South Korea for his off-white project. He does not go by different names besides his instagram account “likewon” in which he has been using this for a long time and has been using it naturally, but still prefers to go by his name. Lee Joo Won does not work everyday for the job and the money, he does it because it is his passion for his talent, more than just a job. He loves what he’s doing in life. Many people love Joo Won’s work, and students often contact him to explain how inspired and encouraged they are by his work. His work is influential and this encourages Joo Won by their support.

EURO, by Lee Joo Won
FACE, by Lee Joo Won

Joo Won seems to be kept busy with the life of an artist. He will have his third solo exhibition in Seoul in October. At the moment, he is working on various topics with clothes, and when creating he goes around and stays in that area or place to take pictures of people and see how the community is, before working on the theme of an area or place. Lately, he has been working with fashion brands or other fashion-related topics. He takes a look at Instagram, Google, Pinterest, fashion lookbooks, and magazines or even photo books to find fashion for people to work with and use in designs. Now he has to focus on another solo exhibition coming four month from now.

With every job, there is a challenge that seems impossible to get over, however Joo Won has found that challenge and overcame it in a stride. He stated, “What I like and what others want. I think it’s right to do what I like. And I think I should do what I like so that my direction doesn’t go wrong from all directions.” He seems to struggle with people wanting something other than what he creates. His artwork is amazing and a lot of thought goes into every part; however, the pressure of not feeling allowed to do what he likes can put a damper in someone. Joo Won appears to put all his effort into his art and make it diverse, from the art itself to the man who made it. 

Photo by Kim Si Woo

Joo Won loved doing his first solo exhibition in the space he went to often, and he was able to communicate with multiple idols of his due to his work. A couple of his idols being Virgil Abloh, Jerry Lorenzo, Daniel Arsham and Joo Won got the opportunity to show his work to many other people. One of his favorite idols would be none other than Kanye West, a well known American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, and fashion designer. Joo Won enjoyed listening to his music and liked his fashion. Recently, he fell in love more with Kanye’s documentary on Netflix. 

Joo Won has planned some different projects with other artists. With each collaboration, they combine different abilities so that each one has in order to create a more diverse and wonderful thing. New things seem to come out due to the subject of diversity, and various tastes can be created in it, and the value of originality can shine more, and that value shines more because of the diversity present. Many people seem to attempt to show it throughout their lives and artwork. However, Joo Won truly shows how to advocate diversity into the life he has created for himself.