Michael Lee is a down-to-earth surfer at heart, family man, fine craftsman/wood turner, and gallery owner, who has a symbiotic relationship with wood. Casually dressed in an aloha shirt, shorts, and slippers at his annual Christmas sale, we had a conversation where he showed me his calloused fingertips from sanding his work. He has traditionalist values and he will not waiver to accept anything less than perfect. In a separate conversation, he said that he treats each bowl like it is his last creation. It is this kind of fortitude and focus that is reflected in the intensity and quality of the end product. His patient personality, calm demeanor, and positive attitude are traits that is reflected in his work. His work is a part of the permanent collection in the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Hawaii State Art Museum, the Contemporary Museum of Arts, he Hawaii Academy of Arts, etc. . .
One may think that it would be unaffordable to own something made by Mike Lee especially with the name and the reputation that he has created for himself. By representing himself at a artist-owned co-op gallery at the Gallery at Ward Centre, an average person can own one of his wonderful wood carvings/wood bowls. While there, you will find the work of other fine artists such as Doug Young, Debbie Young, Roger Whitlock, Jackie Mild-Lau etc. . . On any given day, you can meet any of them and ask them questions about their artwork.
Click here to see more of Mike Lee's work.
Their annual holiday reception is coming up on December 11th from 12p.m. til 4p.m. Check it out!