Close Menu

Meet the New Professors of the Practice at SMFA Joining in Fall 2022

Headshots of eight new faculty, Fall 2022

Above image top left to bottom right: Lauren O’Connor-Korb, Riccardo Giacconi, Jennie Jieun Lee, N. Sean Glover, Soulé Déesse, Elisa Giardina Papa, Cathy Lu, and Yanyun Chen

Yanyun ChenProfessor of the Practice in Drawing and Painting

Yanyun Chen received a BFA in digital animation from the School of Art, Design, and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore as well as a MA in communications and a PhD from the European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland. Chen is a visual artist, and runs a drawing, new media, and installation practice. Her works delve into the aesthetic, cultural, and technological inheritances on one’s body, unravelling fictional and philosophical notions of embodiment, and are grounded in the physicality of human and botanical forms. She builds two trains of thought throughout her works: “on bodies” and “on constructs.” In the former, she researches cultural wounds, dowry traditions, hereditary scars, philosophies of nudities, and etymology, and investigates stories as a skin which we wear. In the latter, she questions memorializing the artifice in art as opposed to being present to the experience of witnessing, withering, and the death of what is outside of oneself. She received the prestigious National Arts Council Young Artist Award (2020), Singapore’s highest award for young arts practitioners aged 35 and below.

Soulé Déesse, Professor of the Practice in Drawing and Painting

Soulé Déesse received a BFA in painting and drawing and a BA in psychology from Wayne State University and an MFA in painting and drawing from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University. Her work moves between painting and site-specific installation, incorporating sculpture, collage, video, experimental sound, oral storytelling, digital printmaking, photography, and performance. Déesse is interested in the power of imagery and object-making to represent trauma and death, the state of the world, and the Black utopia of Futurafrique. She draws on the esoteric spirituality and magic of her Afro-Caribbean lineage to address the politics and aesthetics of geographical and social displacement, the complexities of pain, memory and place, and the evolving realities of identity perception. Déesse’s work has been exhibited in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas, at institutions including the Katonah Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, and Printed Matter, Inc., New York, NY.

Riccardo Giacconi, Professor of the Practice in Sound

Riccardo Giacconi received a BA in visual and performing arts and an MA in visual arts from the Iuav University of Venice, Italy as well as a PhD from Leiden University, the Netherlands. Giacconi is a visual artist, researcher, and documentarian. His works have been presented in exhibitions, film festivals, radio broadcasts, and performing art contexts. Giacconi has published three books (Options, 2020; The Variational Status, 2017; Spoilsport, 2014). His artistic work has been exhibited in various institutions, including Grazer Kunstverein (Graz), ar/ge kunst (Bolzano), MAC (Belfast), WUK Kunsthalle Exnergasse (Vienna), FRAC Champagne-Ardenne (Reims), tranzitdisplay (Prague), Kunstpavillon (Innsbruck), and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Turin). He has presented his films at several festivals, including the New York Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Visions du Réel and FID Marseille, where he won the Grand Prix of the International Competition in 2015. He also co-founded the collective listening festival “Helicotrema” and the audio storytelling studio “Botafuego”.

Elisa Giardina Papa, Professor of the Practice in Digital Media

Elisa Giardina Papa received a BA from Politecnico di Milano, Facoltà del Design in Milano, Italy, an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design, and a PhD in film and media from the University of California, Berkeley. Giardina Papa is an Italian artist whose work investigates gender, sexuality, and labor in relation to neoliberal capitalism and the borders of the Global South. Her most recent body of work documents how past and present forms of capitalism have progressively extracted all capacities for labor and living —including sleep, affect, and emotions— and instead draws attention to everything in our lives, embodiments, and desires that remains radically unruly, untranslatable, and un-computable. Her work has been exhibited and screened at venues such as the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (The Milk of Dreams), the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA’s Modern Mondays), the Whitney Museum (Sunrise/Sunset Commission), and Seoul Mediacity Biennale 2018.

N. Sean Glover, Professor of the Practice in Sculpture

N. Sean Glover is an artist and educator who uses a wide range of materials and processes (both new and old) to investigate the histories of violence, labor, and technology. Sean’s work has been exhibited at the ICA Boston, SFMOMA, Wellesley College, and Space Gallery in Portland, ME. He lives and works in Boston, MA.

Jennie Jieun Lee, Professor of the Practice in Ceramics

Jennie Jieun Lee received a Studio Diploma from SMFA and her MFA in ceramics from California State University Long Beach. Through her work, Lee challenges conventions of ceramic sculpture, embracing the inherent vulnerability of a medium that has long been tamed by its practitioners. Across busts, vessels, and painting, Lee’s works accumulate indices both deliberate and accidental, grafts that both decorate and distort. Transferring the immediacy and authenticity conferred upon gestural painting to sculpture, Lee disrupts a medium typically associated with the domestic. She has shown in several galleries including Marlborough Chelsea, Cooper Cole, Shulamit Nazarian, and Martos Gallery. Lee has worked on fabric collaborations with the designer Rachel Comey and created a ceramic sculpture piece for the 2022 Alexander McQueen special project.  In 2022, Lee's ceramic work was featured on season two of the Netflix television show, Russian Doll. Lee received a 2015 Artadia Award, was a recipient of the 2016 Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, and in 2017 received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.  

Cathy Lu, Professor of the Practice in Ceramics

Cathy Lu received a BFA in Ceramics and a BA in Chinese language, culture, and history from Tufts University and an MFA in Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute. Lu’s work manipulates traditional Chinese art objects and symbols in order to deconstruct assumptions about Asian American identity and cultural authenticity. By creating ceramic-based sculptures and large-scale installations, Lu explores what it means to be both Asian and American, while not being able to fully embody either. Unpacking how experiences of immigration, cultural hybridity, and cultural assimilation are part of American identity is central to Lu's work. Lu’s work has been featured in solo, juried, and group exhibitions, including the Chinese Culture Center SF, CA, American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, CA, and Art Salon Chinatown in Los Angeles, CA. She was a 2019 Asian Cultural Council/ Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation Fellow and a 2020 NCECA Emerging Artist. She will be exhibiting work at SFMOMA in Dec 2022. 

Lauren O’Connor-Korb, Professor of the Practice in Sculpture

Lauren O’Connor Korb holds a BFA in spatial art from San Jose State University and an MFA with distinction from the University of Georgia. Using language as a guidepost, she looks at the way Western culture assigns narrative significance to experiences and moments in history. By focusing on the objects and narratives, which are preserved and perpetuated, she explores the latent error in translation between projected meaning and reality. She is the recipient of the juror’s award at the 2020 Wiregrass Biennial, the International Sculpture Center’s 2019 Outstanding Student Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture, and the 2020 Excellence in Graduate Research Award from the University of Georgia.

Close Menu