Meet the Artist

Aloha, this website is Lani’s gallery.

Lani Jungeun Lee, the painter

Lani under a breadfruit tree
Lani under a breadfruit tree
photo by Danielle Shemesh


Lani had always wanted to be a painter ever since she was a little kid. From an early age, she loved to observe things, to paint nature, animals and people around her. She was born and raised in Seoul, Korea, majored in fine arts in college and got a bachelor degree in 1998. Then she had to work for a living rather than pursuing her dream. So, she had been working as a graphic designer in fashion industry for many years. One day, she thought that she should not delay her dream any longer. So whenever time allowed, she traveled around the world to find a place, where she would be able to be committed to her paintings. After traveling a few countries, she eventually found the place. A perfect place full of inspirations would make her dreams come true. It didn’t take long time for her to fall in love with the island. In 2014, after a few more years later she permanently moved to Oahu, Hawai’i. And soon after, a native Hawaiian friend there gave her a nickname, Lani, meaning “heavenly” in Hawaiian. She wanted to make her Hawaiian life literally heavenly as her life a full-time painter begun. As a matter of fact, even in heavenly place like Hawai’i, life would never be easy by nature. She melts her own multilayered Hawaiian life in her paintings. She is also painting local plants in the islands, wildlife, the ocean and residents of the Hawaiian islands.

Artist’s Statement

“Lani”. This is a big theme in my works, a motto in my life as an Hawaiian islander, and also Hawaiian nickname of mine. My works are pieces of the past, reality of present, and hopes for the future. The more I explored subjects of my paintings, the more I became interested in environmental issues around the ecosystem of the Earth. I learned that many foreign plants and animals have brought in to Hawai’i and ended up living here in various reasons just like people have. We are the creature of circumstances but often become oblivious of that once we took for granted. Once being oblivious, we become easily blind to irreversible damages we have inflicted to the environment. I have a dream to paint heavenly things in the heavenly place. But no dreams come true for free. The more beautiful, the more prone to get damaged. And I have to keep awaken toward our environmental issues.


1998 Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dankook University, South Korea

* has regularly been donating to WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, an international non-governmental organization, to help the wilderness preservation and the reduction of human impact on the environment) and Hawaii Foodbank.