Sun Ho Lee designs the ephemeral experiences of cultural “inbetweeners”

The designer, who is currently studying for a graphic design MFA at RISD, shares how activism and design can be intertwined.

Through her multi-disciplinary practice, the designer Sun Ho Lee highlights the experience of the people she describes as “cultural inbetweeners” – specifically, Asian immigrants in the US. Fuelled by her desire to “expand the language to capture these ephemeral experiences” her projects range from Swish Swoosh, both a publication and knitted object that embodies the experience of code switching, and Is This a Typo? – a publication that “tells stories about names that are often misspelt and mispronounced”. In her publications, Sun Ho has an incredible ability to simultaneously create visuals that intrigue an audience, and a way of telling stories that then both engage and educate.

Before Sun Ho was a designer, she spent time helping North Korean refugees “escape from their traffickers and oppressors”. In how her activism and design are intertwined, Sun Ho explains: “Many ask if there’s any similarity between refugee rescue and design; in both works, I am preserving and sharing the experiences of cultural and political inbetweeners who have been neglected, so that we can build a community with more cultural sensitivity.”

GallerySun Ho Lee: Swish Swoosh (Copyright © Sun Ho Lee, 2022)

GallerySun Ho Lee: Chronicles of Sameri (Copyright © Sun Ho Lee, 2022)

GallerySun Ho Lee: Is This a Typo? (Copyright © Sun Ho Lee, 2022)


Sun Ho Lee: Love Me (Copyright © Sun Ho Lee, 2021) Photography: Renee Hee Young Cha

Hero Header

Sun Ho Lee: Is This a Typo? (Copyright © Sun Ho Lee, 2022)

Share Article

About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.