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Artist Meticulously Creates Alternate Universe Without Any Photomanipulation

lee jee young

Every once in a while, a refreshing artist pops out and does things the old fashioned way. In the world of photography, while the herd is practically all hooked on Photoshop, there are still some shutterbugs that create things in organic space. South Korean artist Jee Young Lee is one such photographer. She has been known to labor for weeks; sometimes even months transforming her studio space into a set which she then photographs.

lee jee young portrait

Lee shuns the use of computers and after effects, placing the demand of everything having to be in camera. Her studio is located in Seoul and measures nothing larger than 12′ x 13.5′ x 8′. Lee creates extremely elaborate scenes, uses a an assortment of materials, in addition to camera tricks to produce narrative photos which allude to cultural tales, fables, and stories intimate to her.

lee jee young studio

Lee works with such impeccable and flawless precision that the creation of a set often takes unheard of effort under today’s shooting standards. All of the photography sets and her specific roles in them tell a particular story about her personal life experiences. Lee is the photographer, designer and performer, all rolled into one. Hyewon Yi, Director and Curator of Amelie A. Wallace Gallery had this to say of the Korean artist.

studio lee jee young

“Lee’s constructed realities belong to the “directorial mode,” employed since the 1980′s by Postmodernist photographers in repudiation of the Modernist practice that sought truth in the everyday world. Lee’s “constructed image photography” may be compared to the works of German sculptor and photographer Thomas Demand…U.S. installation artist and photographer Sandy Skoglund’s orchestrated room-size installations. But in contrast to these earlier artists, Lee’s subjects are deeply personal and intensely psychological.

lee jee young portrait series

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.”

lee jee young korean artist

See Lee’s astounding work here.

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Patricia Ramos the author

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.

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