“Recreating the forms of Nature by using her basic elements is my way of celebrating and sharing the many gifts she has given me.”
Eddie Lee is one of the Northwest’s most gifted artists. His love of nature, spirituality and art has given him the special ability to breathe life into his sculptures. Born in 1960 in the Emerald City of Nha Trang, Vietnam, his passion for art and nature was nurtured at a very young age. He left Saigon, South Vietnam in 1978 as one of thousands of “Boat People”. After six months in a refugee camp in Malaysia, he arrived in the United States of America at the age of 18 – bringing with him a young heart determined to find a new place to thrive and freely express his creativity.
Eddie soon found a permanent, spiritual home in Seattle. He traveled extensively along the Northwest Coast and Alaska, observing the traditions of native peoples and their art forms, learning about their spiritual relationship to the natural world. He was likewise stirred by the great beauty of Alaska’s wild lands and animals. Filled with inspiration, Eddie was impelled to express his feelings in his arts. He established his art studio in 1980. Just three years later, Eddie opened his first gallery in Seattle.
Each carving from Eddie’s studio is an original, painstakingly handcrafted by him and a select group of experienced artisans, using fossilized mammoth and walrus ivory unearthed along the Bering Sea and in Siberia. For Eddie, each fossilized material or rough stone is an embodiment of essential earth, as indigenous to its age and origin as are native peoples and plants. The impurities peculiar to each piece of rare material give the finished carving its unique, often surprising individual quality. In Eddie’s hands, these petrified relics become organic once again.
Eddie strives not only to recreate in his sculpture the basic elements and forms of Nature, but also expresses the deep spirituality of both Nature and his own inner life. He captures the physical vigor and substantial magnetism of wild creatures that have been profoundly felt and symbolized by indigenous peoples throughout the ages. If words transmit thoughts, Eddie’s art transmits feelings.
During the 35 years since Eddie opened his studio, Eddie has earned the respect of art lovers and collectors worldwide. He is globally recognized as a Master Sculptor of the Pacific Northwest. Artist, visionary, inspiration, charisma and entrepreneur: Eddie Lee is all these and more. His childhood dream of finding a place to thrive and express his creativity is no longer just a dream. This is a goal that he was determined to achieve, and he did.