Korean artist JeeYoung Lee has turned her tiny studio into a fantasy world. Since 2007, Lee JeeYoung shoots the invisible. Whereas traditional photography submits extracts of reality to our eyes, the artist offers excerpts from her heart, her memory, or her dreams. Restrained by the inherent limits of the conventional photographic medium, she adds plastic creativity and theatrical performance to it, in order to blow life into her immense needs of expression, and interrogation.
For weeks, sometimes months, she creates the fabric of a universe born from her mind within the confines of her 3 x 6 m studio. She does so with infinite minutiae and extraordinary patience, in order to exclude any ulterior photographic alteration. Thus materialised, these worlds turn real and concretise : imagination reverts to the tangible and the photo imagery of such fiction testify as to their reality.
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 creations act as 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.
“In my work, I reconstruct my feelings. The background props and objects in them reenact these scenes in a metaphorical way,” she says. “My work is about sublimating my complicated emotions into a form of art. From a personal level it helps me analyze and understand me, and often then I feel healed.”
Jee Young’s artworks will be on display at the OPIOM Gallery in Opio, France, until March 26, 2016.
all images © JeeYoung Lee | courtesy of Opiom Gallery