If you automatically assumed that these images were photoshopped in some way, you are 100 percent wrong. Korean artist JeeYoung Lee actually creates these landscapes within her small studio in Seoul (which is about 12 x 13 x 8 feet), not letting the size of her canvas determine the breadth of her creative vision. These beautiful self-portraits explore not only the depth of imagination, but also one woman's interpretation of her own dreams and famed folk tales.
"It is a photographic elucidation of my concerns about my identity, exploration about myself and search for the things that I am capable of doing, desire to do, enjoy doing and can do well, and furthermore, my thoughts on how I should live my life," says Lee. "I try to search for the answers to my questions and concerns through the process of photographing and the subsequent artwork."
Though some photographers may rely on digital manipulations to get finished products similar to Lee's, she painstakingly builds these sets herself as representations of her own imagination. Sometimes taking weeks or months on just one project, the artist always puts herself into the scenes to bring a sense of fantastical realism to each. With some looking like an Alice in Wonderland-inspired dream and others represent Korean and western folk stories.
Sure, she could save herself a lot of time by just creating these scenes digitally, but the warmth that seeps through from making everything by hand would be sacrificed. Someone give this girl funds for a movie, because hers is the vision Hollywood is seriously lacking.
Starting February 7, 2014 (and running to March 7), Lee will be opening her first European exhibition at the Opiom Gallery in Opio, France.
"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," explains the Opio Gallery.