“Daze: Stage of Mind” is the name of the series of self-portraits of South Korean photographic artist Jee Young Lee, show-cased here.
The photographs are so surreal that in another age they would have been labelled ‘visions from a good trip on psychedelic-drugs’. Today, the conclusion would have been no less unflattering – ‘Ah! A good PhotoShopper’.
In truth, these are products of Jee’s own fertile mind, born of her life experiences, relationships and memories of them all; the turmoil caused by the reality around her and her emotional swings in response. At the mundane level the financial stringency faced by a budding artist – living and working in the confines of a 10’X20’ studio – and the stress of coping also inform her work.
Graduate of Hongik University, Seoul, Jee Young seeks inspiration for her works in folk tales of her childhood and literature. For example, the photographic composition ‘Resurrection’ has been inspired by the Korean fable of Shimcheongin, a girl who plunges into the sea and is reborn in the heart of a lotus.
To express the vision, she uses her training and experience in the creating sets and stage for films and theater. The actual installations are created in a wooden set measuring 360x600x240 cm using everyday articles and discards. She then places herself in the set and photographs it.
She has won the Sovereign Art Prize (2012) in Hong Kong. Museum of Photography in Japan Kiyosato, the Foundation for Art and Culture Incheon, and the OIC museum in Seoul have her works in their collection