JUNGJIN LEE: DESERT
And now, over twenty years later, Jungjin Lee notes, when I examine these works, I encounter the same experiences and energy I had felt then and there. Transcending time and space, everything is still, my mind is perfectly quiet, and I know I face eternity and the absolute.’ In this body of work produced over five years in the early 1990s, Lee captures the vast American Southwest and transforms it with liquid light and diluted light-sensitive emulsions to create images that are as uncontrollable and natural as the landscape she depicts. Desert comprises four series of works (each bound as a separate book and presented in a unique slipcase), all of which contain monochromatic images of arid lands. Stratigraphy etched into rock faces, massive stones, cave-like precipices, and anthropomorphic fauna showcase an extensive compendium of the deserts many faces and textures. Each image focuses on the landscapes formal qualities, eschewing human presence, simultaneously evoking late 19th-century photography, while epitomizing the stark modernity of Lees lens. Certain images provoke a sense of the infinite in their vastness, while others fix upon particular features, deftly transitioning from the macro to the micro.
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