Elena Morelli Viareggio, Italy Canon 5D Mark II | Hasselblad 500C/M
What has been your most difficult image to capture?
Uhm, I wouldn’t know, really. My approach to photography is very instinctual — I love taking pictures of anything that moves me, that makes me think, that fascinates me. I’ve been lucky enough to never find myself in situations in which taking the picture I wanted would be too difficult. A few times, though, I’ve taken some pics with the snow up to my thighs, but I wouldn’t define them difficult — hard, maybe, or painful. On the other hand, there are images in my mind I’d like to capture, but I still haven’t, either because I didn’t have the time or the climate was not right or I haven’t managed yet to reach a particular location. Maybe they will turn out to be difficult, maybe not; I don’t know yet.
Recently graduated from Seoul’s Hongik University in her native South Korea, JeeYoung Lee 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 imaginary is 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.
Recipient of multiple artistic awards including the Sovereign Art Prize (2012), JeeYoung Lee is one the the most promising up-and-rising figureheads of the younger Korean artistic world. Her Photographs have already found their way into public collections such as th Kyoto Photographic Museum in Japan, the Incheon Foundation for Art and Culture, or even Seoul’s OCI Museum. (src: OPIOM Gallery)