Christina Yuna Lee honored with exhibit at West Village Art Gallery, with proceeds going to her memorial fund

WEST VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) – A young woman tragically lost her life in February after a man followed her into her apartment and stabbed her 40 times.

But those who knew Christina Yuna Lee choose to remember her in a way that honors her creative spirit.

“Christina had a love for art,” said Lee’s former employer, Eli Klein. “Art was a big part of his life.”

Klein pays tribute to his former employee and close friend by displaying her art in an exhibition at his West Village Gallery.

“Christina was an extremely creative person, a passionate person,” Klein said. “She painted me a realistic painting of a pack of Golden Bridge cigarettes. It’s a very personal painting.”

The ones Lee always knew Klein brought back from his business trips to China.

And there is deep personal pain. It has been two months since the 35-year-old woman was murdered in her Chinatown apartment.

“I still can’t fully process it,” Klein said.

Now this exhibition is for Lee, with his own pieces hanging alongside works by other artists.

And Klein will donate more than half of the sales through June 5 to his memorial fund.

“People can come and pay their respects to his life and both celebrate his life and mourn his loss,” said curator Stephanie Mei Huang.

Curator Stephanie Mei Huang carefully selected the remaining pieces with the artists.

“The exhibit has a mandate of mourning Asian death,” Haung said. “Hana compiled these guns from headlines that catalog Asian hate crimes.”

At a time when fear of Asian American hate crimes is at the forefront, everyone involved in creating this exhibit wants to create a safe haven in Lee’s memory.

“Having a safe space open during public hours for almost two months with an attendant is really important to me,” Haung said.

And to remember a woman who had so much to give and so little time to give.

“We hope she will be with us in some way throughout the exhibition,” Klein said.

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