Myoung Ho Lee
Myoung Ho Lee, a young artist from South Korea, has produced an elaborate series of photographs that pose some unusual questions about representation, reality, art, environment and seeing.
Simple in concept, complex in execution, he makes us look at a tree in its natural surroundings, but separates the tree artificially from nature by presenting it on an immense white ground, as one would see a painting or photograph on a billboard.
The work demands thoughtful analysis.
Sang Yong Shim (Art Critic, and Professor at Dongduk Women's University), has written a long intellectual essay about this work. Translation of these dense ideas is difficult. So, what follows is a shortened and very simplified version of the long essay:
and its Visual Confirmation
Myoung Ho Lee separates subjects from their original circumstances to derange the difference between subject and image. His work reveals nature by twists and turns, a little fabrication and optical illusion.
Myoung Ho Lee enacts his works as 'a series of discourse on deconstruction on the photography-act'.
His works are largely composed by following four procedures:
1. Selection of The Subject
2. Separation of The Subject (meta-subject)
4. Confirmation of The Separation
First of all, Look at the procedure (2), separating the subject from its environmental condition artificially. By setting a big white fabric vertically for playing a square surrounding role behind the chosen subject (with significant physical force), he makes the subject appear neutral from its original context. The object becomes 'separated object', 'ambiguous subject' and 'meta-subject'.
The challenge of 'Photography-Act' is deep. Because 'Photography-Act' is not a real subject but a decontextualized and isolated variant from the subject, and is a real subject and nonsubject simultaneously.
Procedure (4) confirms the creation of identical chaos to the 'Photography-Act' itself by this separation and decontextualization.
View the photographs in more detail as a large-format slide show in a new window.
A limited edition of signed photographs from this series is now available for purchase online here.
Myoung Ho Lee's Tree series was featured as a 16-page portfolio in Foam magazine in July 2008. You can download a PDF of the essays and portfolio here.