Dr. Agnes Lee was born in Chongqing (Chungking) China right after World War II ended. Her family moved to Hong Kong in 1947 where she received her early education in a Catholic girl’s school. They moved to Taiwan, the Republic of China, in 1958 where she attended the Taipei First Girl’s Middle School (Bei Yi Nui).
Agnes graduated from the Tamkang University, Taiwan, and came to the United States in 1966 to pursue her Master and Ph. D. degrees in Physical Chemistry from the Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia. After graduation, Dr. Lee then engaged in biomedical research at the University of Iowa for ten years.
She joined the Consolidated Bio-Medical Lab in Wichita, Kansas, which later became Roche Bio-Medical Lab and subsequently Lab Corp of America. Struggling through racial and sex biases, Dr. Lee gained reputation as an expert “problem solver” for the company and retired in 2003 as the Vice President for Operations responsible for the Mid-Land Division of eleven states based in Kansas City, Mo. The most rewarding work for her during the time was helping the Tzu Chi Organization to establish its Bone Marrow Registry in Taiwan, which has since helped save hundreds of lives.
Because of her love of arts, Dr. Agnes C. Lee co-founded the ArtPlus Partners, an art consulting and service company after her retirement. Since then, ArtPlus has helped many local and Chinese artists by organizing art shows and participating in competitions. During this period, Dr. Lee served on the Advisory Board of Seattle Asian Art Museum.
Agnes has fallen in love with arts ever since her grade school years when Sister Yen taught her the way to do pencil sketches. She loves to learn all different painting techniques and coloring contrasts. Equally, she loves to learn the story behind a painting, it's reflection on the culture and social contexts of the time the works were created. After retiring from the professional career, she has traveled extensively through Europe, visiting museums and reading about artists and their works.
After trying out various forms of painting techniques by herself, Dr. Lee began taking lessons from Mr. Deng Zuolie, renown local artist for Chinese traditional. Meanwhile, she also studies acrylic and mixed media paintings, mono-printing as well as beeswax encaustic techniques with Tracy Felix Fraker and April Richardson. In addition, Agnes creates handmade greeting cards for family and friends.
Dr. Lee held her first solo art show in 2013 displaying around 20 paintings of different styles. The artwork was well received by the attendees and almost all works were acquired for their home decorative displays. Agnes created her own unique painting style integrating the Chinese calligraphy and classical poems with vivid colors of Western medium. These works are the most popular with the audience and continue to evolve in themes and structural composition.
Her work also found its way to New York and were soon invited to a show, A Thousand Words, at the Packer Institute in Brooklyn in 2016. There again, the patrons enthusiastically acquired many pieces at display and she also receive several commissioned work when the favorites were taken.
Later in 2016, Dr. Agnes Lee accepted the honor to hold a display at the Washington State Capital Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen’s office. After many other shows and competitions, Agnes was accepted by the Women Painters of Washington association as well as started to be represented by the Clarke and Clarke gallery in 2018 kicking off a pleasant late “professional artist” career. Since then, her works have continued to gain popularity and acceptances with many touching stories of immersing and enriching patron’s lives.
Dr. Agnes Lee believes that the strength of her life and art work based on her faith and love and that the way to happiness is through hard work and good decisions. She also believes that a home decorated with real rich art works will bring harmony and serenity to the family, a true practice of good Feng-Shui.
Chinese characters have the exquisite quality of being both words and pictures. The stroke of the characters conveys music, meaning and movement. I take inspiration from poetry to express my feelings, memories, well-wishes, prayers. When I am moved by a poem, such as Gibran’s Prophet On Marriage (translated into Chinese), the story fills my heart; as I begin to paint, the characters become a meditation, a repetition of movement, the layers of time, music, emotion, words, brush marks, and color