At a solo exhibition, MB Modern in New York…
“The syntax the sculpture employs may still be essentially Minimalist, but Lee has infused it with a subtle, anthropomorphic presence”
–Trevor Richardson, Sculpture, September 1998, Vol.17., No7
Billy Lee was born of Chinese and Dutch parentage in Uitenhage, South Africa. As a child, his parents emigrated to England, where he later received his BFA, 1st class honours, from Birmingham College of Art and Design, and his MFA at the Royal College of Art, London (RCA). Upon graduation from the RCA, he received the prestigious award of Kennedy Scholar, to attend the Centre for Advanced Visual Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was later named a Fellow. He remains the only artist ever to receive the award of Kennedy Scholar.
Thanks to the considerable and growing international reputation, Lee is consistently invited to exhibit and place works throughout the world. In 1991, he received the Giacomo Manzu Special Prize at the ’7th Henry Moore International Sculpture Exhibition in Japan. At the Fujisankei Biennale in 1993, he was awarded the Rodin Prize for his work exhibited in the Hakone/Utsukushi-ga-hara Open Air Museum, Japan.
Lee was invited to participate in ‘Thinking Big: 21st Century British Sculpture’ at the Guggenheim in Venice. He was one of five international sculptors to attend the ’11th International Steel Sculptors Symposium’ in Hungary. His large-scale outdoor work is now part of the Dunaferr Art Foundation’s permanent collection in the city of Dunaujvaros. His sculptures are represented in public collections across the globe, including Goodwood Sculpture-Cass Foundation, West Sussex, UK; Yuzi Paradise Sculpture Park, Guilin, China; The Hakone/Utsukushi-ga-hara Open Air Museum, Japan; Shanghai Sculpture Park, China; The Memorial Rose Garden, Chin Pao San, Taipei, Taiwan; Dunaujvaros Sculpture Park, Hungary; Cementerio Carretas, Putaendo Sculpture Park, Chile, Abu Dhabi, UAE and many others in the United States.
In the past ten years Lee has been working in China creating large outdoor sculptures. Recently, he has just completed a twenty-foot diameter stainless steel sculpture for the city of Abu Dhabi, UAE. In addition, he continues to exhibit in the USA, UK, Europe and the East. Lee currently resides in the United States and is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.