My very creative friend Chris (she's pursuing a career in puppeteering, so cool!) shared a link to this post about the work of Korean artist Lee JeeYoung. I found Lee's work fascinating, not only because there is no Photoshop or photo manipulation involved, but because her work is a study in self-expression and a quest to delve into different parts of her identity.
She constructs elaborate installations in her studio and then inserts herself into the scene (never facing forward) as part of an attempt to create a tangible expression of thoughts, feelings, and desires. The studio is only about 10 feet by 20 feet in size. Lee spends weeks, sometimes months, transforming this space over and over again into fantastical settings inspired by her surroundings and experiences, as well as cultural influences and fables. It's a cathartic way of working out inner conflict and I love the way each iteration speaks to a different part of who she is.
I so admire people who are this creative and can turn an imaginative fantasy into something visual and whimsical. In a way it reminds me of something that has stuck with me since childhood and I think of often: In the Beverly Cleary book Ramona and Beezus, Beezus feels like she doesn't have any imagination and she's struggling for inspiration in her art class. After kicking Ramona out of the art class and trying to reclaim it as her own, she decides to paint Ramona's invisible lizard, and it evolves into a dragon with cotton-candy flames, lollipop scales, and a lemon drop eye.
Sometimes when I'm feeling less than inspired, I think of the dragon painting and try to remember there's always another way of seeing things.
Here are some of my favorite photographs from Lee's series.
images via opiom gallery
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