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Jihee Lee

Jihee Lee

Meet Hamburg-based South Korean graphic designer, Jihee Lee.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a Korean female graphic designer working in Germany. I came to Germany in 2011. Since moving to Europe, I made a project (iamangry.de, So Jin Park, Jihee Lee) to draw attention to the ways that Asian stereotypes are encouraged in visual communication as well as how Asian and Korean women designers and illustrators experience inequality daily.
After I graduated communication design at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle in Germany in 2018, I am currently working as a freelance designer in Hamburg. The main areas of my design activities are culture, art, and architecture. I’ve also recently expanded my reach from print-based designers to web designers.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

I moved to Hamburg from Leipzig in March. As much as the second-largest city in Germany, it’s an expensive housing cost disadvantage. But I think it is a city with many opportunities. Living as a foreigner in Hamburg is more comfortable than Leipzig. You can see many colours of people in your daily lives here.

 

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?
It’s good to eat delicious Asian food (It’s a very important factor in choosing a city.). The downside is the weather.

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

challenge, opportunities,  diversity

 

How did you start your career in art?

It’s a trite story, but I loved painting when I was young and naturally went to art school at the recommendation of my high school teacher. After working for a Korean design company, I got a chance to study again in Germany, and I am staying in Germany as a graphic designer.

 

It’s a trite story, but I loved painting when I was young and naturally went to art school at the recommendation of my high school teacher. After working for a Korean design company, I got a chance to study again in Germany, and I am staying in Germany as a graphic designer.

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

I was lucky. My parents always supported me with everything I chose. Oh, just once, I told my parents that I wanted to be a dog hairdresser when I was in high school. They opposed it.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?
I want to work long and hard as an influential Korean female designer in Germany. And I want to support my next generation of Asian female designers.

 

I want to work long and hard as an influential Korean female designer in Germany. And I want to support my next generation of Asian female designers.

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?
No Comment.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

They are kind, smart and strong. Especially in the case of Asian women, they study more and exercise more to counter the prejudices they experience in the West.

 

They are kind, smart and strong. Especially in the case of Asian women, they study more and exercise more to counter the prejudices they experience in the West.

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

It can be said that there is but there is none. Most of the art class teachers I had as a child were women but the lecturers I had in college and the people who run the studios at work and the famous creative directors were mostly men.

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?
It would be more appropriate as an Asian woman than a woman. In 2018, there was a poster contest “100 beste Plakate” where all of the judges were men. This received strong criticism online so the following year they hired five female judges but they were all white women. Germany needs more color.

 

Don’t underestimate yourself. And don’t let others underestimate you.

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?
Don’t underestimate yourself. And don’t let others underestimate you.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Jihee Lee and So jin Park.

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