Youbi Lee

Journey to the West South East

About the Work

This project is inspired by one of the oldest East Asian mythological fiction ‘Journey to the West’, which is well known as ‘Monkey King’ or ‘Monkey Magic’ in the Western world. The story follows Monkey King, Piggie and the Monk who went on a journey to the West South East – which is Australia. Embarking on a traditional journey; the heroes meet monsters to fight, overcome them and move on to another journey. I used the metaphor of the monster toward the ugliness in our mind- Fear of the difference, aggressiveness, ignorance, which are the fundamental elements of racism.  

The visual images take the style of woodcut prints, as that was a typical medium of the publication in East Asia. However, I used a digital drawing program to create these images, and it takes the form of a web-comic, a distinct mode of digital storytelling.

About the Creative

Youbi Lee works in many different forms of visual art; such as comic, mural painting, printmaking and digital media. Since moving to Australia, she has been initiating and facilitating visual arts projects and collaborative community arts. This includes ‘Asian Grocery’; a live art installation mimicking Asian grocery space to create a dialogue about Asian identity, nominated as a ‘Best Live Art’ award at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe Festival. ‘Obang’; an interactive live art for babies and parents, through ArtPlay New idea lab and Asia Topa. Presently she is creating a number of digital comic series for Arena Online.