Not only does David Lee have an incredible talent, but he also has an amazing story that inspires and that oh to many times has gone the other way.
Lee was urged by his father to enter the field of medicine. As a dutiful son, he majored in medical studies for three years before finally receiving his father’s approval to pursue his career in art. “My father and I struck a bargain,” Lee told me at his art show, when I met him. “If I could win the Chinese National Painting Competition, he would honor my wishes. I did and he did.” David Lee was the youngest winner ever of the prestigious Chinese National Painting Competition.
His art came to my attention in 1999 during my stay in Carmel on my road trip, we went to a lot of art galleries and this one stood out to me. David works on silk and I used to paint on silk as a teenager and in my 20s. His paintings where so incredible and I asked the lady in the gallery a lot of questions. She answered some, but others where to specific for her to know. When she found out we where headed back to LA she told me that David was having a show at the Marriott in Marina Del Rey and she gave me an invitation. The show was the same day of our return to LA, but the paintings made such an impression on me that I just had to go and see him, and so I did.
David was very nice and he and I spoke for a long time and he answered a lot of my questions about technique and his personal approach. In the end I had to buy one of his special silk paper prints as the originals where all outside my price range. So I got the Irises and he gave me one more to choose and I got his book, which he signed and dedicated to me.
David Lee was trained in the classical tradition of Oriental brushwork and when you have the chance to see the originals you really see the craft and technique he uses. I love oriental art and the fact that he does it on silk combines two of my passions.
Every time I see one of his pieces I am happy he stuck to his guns and challenged his father for his art. I was so lucky that my own parents actually let me follow my dreams and be an artist…