Junghee Lee has traveled extensively in India, Southeast Asia, Japan, Central Asia, China, and Korea to visit museums and archeological sites, and brings her experiences to the class through her own slides and recollections. After majoring in Aesthetics at Seoul National University, Junghee Lee moved to UCLA to study Modern Art and Western Art History for her MA and Buddhist art for her Ph.D. She was a research associate at Harvard University for ten years.
In 1994, Junghee Lee came to Portland State University, and since that time she has developed and taught more than 15 different courses on Asian art from the ancient to the modern period, as well as special topics such as Buddhist Art and Modern Japanese Painting. She is a professor in the School of Art + Design as well as a faculty member in International Studies. Her specialty is the Buddhist sculpture of Korea and China, and her primary work is in the introduction of Korean art to the United States, by presenting scholarly papers and curating contemporary Korean art exhibitions across the country. As part of PSU's community partnership with the Portland Art Museum, she worked as a consulting curator of Korean art from 1994-1997, curating the permanent installation of a Korean art gallery and a special exhibition entitled In Pursuit of the Tiger.
Junghee Lee has published scholarly articles in journals such as Artibus Asiae, Oriental Art, and Misulsa Hakbo, entries in Grove's Dictionary of Art, and the exhibition catalogs In Pursuit of the Tiger and Azealas and Golden Bells for the Portland Art Museum, and Overlapping Lines for the University of Ulsan Press. She began and continues the exchange of bi-annual exhibitions between PSU and the University of Ulsan in South Korea. She hopes to inspire students to travel and appreciate Asian art and to promote further cultural exchange.