|Raw, JeeYoung Lee|
As these installations reflect Lee's subconscience, dreams, and feelings, Lee includes herself in each unaltered photograph, making her at one with the worlds she creates. As noted by the Opiom Gallery who will have this particular series, Stage of Mind, on display from February 7th to March 7th, 2014:
"In the midst of each of these sets stands the artist : those self-portraits however are never frontal, since it is never her visual aspect she shows, but rather her quest for an identity, her desires and her frame of mind. Her imaginary is a catharsis which allows her to accept social repression and frustrations. The moment required to set the stage gives her time to meditate about the causes of her interior conflicts and hence exorcise them; once experienced, they in turn become portents of hope."
For emphasis, these photographs are unaltered -- Everything you see in the photograph was built by Lee, whether out of styrofoam, cardboard, paint, or other cheap materials. Depending on the detail required, these installations can take weeks to months to perfect. Like the Buddhist monks creating mandalas out of sand, Lee then disassembles her work.
|Broken Heart, JeeYoung Lee|
|Maiden Voyage, JeeYoung Lee|
|Nightscape, JeeYoung Lee|
|Resurrection, JeeYoung Lee|
A quick search on Google/Wikipedia highlights Cheong's story as the devoted daughter of a blind father who is told by a monk that his eyesight could be restored by Buddha if he donates three hundred bags of rice to the temple. In return for three hundred bags of rice, Cheong offers herself to a group of sailors that need a virgin sacrifice to placate Yongwang (the Dragon of the Sea) and guarantee safe passage for merchant ships through the ocean. She finds herself in the palace of Yongwang after being tossed into the sea and moved by her filial piety, the dragon sends her back to earth wrapped in a lotus flower. She is born again from the lotus outside the palace of the emperor, who falls in love with her immediately and makes her his empress. Together they throw a banquet for all blind men in the kingdom, in hopes Cheong's father will appear. When he does, he is so surprised to hear his daughter's voice again and his eyesight is magically restored.
|Sweet Appetite, JeeYoung Lee|
MyModernMet did a great article on the artist also and Opiom Gallery has her biography in PDF.
Lee majored in visual design at Hongik University, only to discover she preferred building art with her own hands instead of sitting in front of a computer all day. She shoots with a large format 4x5 camera. She has been inspired by folklore, Hans Christian Anderson, daVinci's The Last Supper, and objects she encounters in her daily life. Her inspiration could be found anywhere, but mostly comes from within herself.