Photographer - Dreamer - Artist
Recently graduated from Hongik University in Seoul, Korea in her hometown, the young Lee JeeYoung photograph the invisible. Where traditional photography submitted to us snippets of reality, the artist invites us to look at pictures from her heart, her memory or her dreams.
With the help of Google Translator from French
Jee Young Lee creates highly elaborate scenes that require an incredible amount of patience and absolutely no photo manipulation. For weeks and sometimes months, the young Korean artist works in the confines of her small 360 x 410 x 240 cm studio bringing to life worlds that defy all logic. In the middle of the sets you can always find the artist herself, as these are self-portraits but of the unconventional kind. Inspired by either her personal life or old Korean fables, they each have their own backstory, which of course, only adds to the intense drama.
Inspired by the Story of Shim Cheong, a Korea folktale as well as by Shakespeare’s Ophelia, Lee JeeYoung made this installation by painting paper lotus and flooding the room with fog and carbonic ice in order to create a mystic atmosphere.
Lotus flowers grow from the impure mud to reach for the light and bloom to the rise and fall of the sun; in Asia, it bears various cultural symbolisms such as prospects and rebirth. It is also known for its purifying function. The presence of the artist in the heart of such flower is meant to convey her personal experience. “I was born again by overcoming negative elements that had dragged me down and cleansed myself emotionally. The figure within a lotus blooming implies a stronger self who was just born again and is facing a new world”. It is this is very moment when one reaches maturity and full-potential that Lee illustrates in “Resurrection”, and, more generally speaking, throughout the entirety of her corpus.
Treasure Hunt is based on the artist’s childhood memories. Lee devoted three months to crafting the lush multitude of wire leaves – it evokes a child-like wonderland.
"Drawing upon prodigious powers of imagination, she labors for months to create effects that seem to expand and contract physical space. And always, a lone figure inhabits and completes her narratives. Jee Young Lee assumes the roles of set designer, sculptor, performer, installation artist, and photographer – and she executes them all magically."
This piece is based upon a Korean fable in which a tiger chases desperate children into a well. A god lowered a rope from the sky by which the child escaped, but when the tiger cried out for help, a rotten rope was lowered, condemning the tiger to a miserable fate. Painted traditional fans are meticulously arranged as a whirlpool, while a hand emerges from its eye to grab a rope hanging down from above; hope can save oneself from even what can appear as the most desperate situation.
Broken Heart makes visual the Korean expression “like breaking a stone with an egg” – an ineffectual effort against insurmountable adversity.
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