Beautiful, 150 X 100cm, c-print, 2009
Beautiful, 100 X 130cm, c-print, 2009
Inviting the spectacle of a city. - Artist JaeWook Lee
Park Woo Jin, Journalist HanKook Weekly Megazine
You can easily get lost in a city. It is not just because of its width and intricacy. There are eye-catching scenes in every direction and the ironies among them are neglected due to the swift progression of the scenes. In the back alleys of magnificent skyscrapers, incidents occur every day and the state-of-art media makes the cruelty of the incidents into a sheer spectacle. Living in a city means to experience, bear, and enjoy such visual impacts and ultimately become numb to the impacts due to the alienation and continuance; having willingness and possibility to understand and judge the source and the ironic mechanism of the scenes lost.
Photographer Lee, JaeWook was also trapped in a maze, when he visited Shanghai. Being overwhelmed by the splendid view, he went into a room of the world’s tallest hotel. On TV, atrocities in Afghanistan were being broadcasted. The sharp contrast between the two events made him dizzy and the concurrence was befuddling.
It was the beginning of his theme, with the subject of a city, incorporating explosions and screaming objects. On the picture of Shanghai Grand Hyatt Hotel’s interior, which is the starting point of his series of work, he carves in brilliantly exploding fragments; for the picture of Seoul’s night view, he dots the picture with the images of a wailing mother who has lost children on a battlefield. The energy created by the conflicting two images is immense. The photographer gathered these pieces of work and displayed under the title of “Beautiful” at the Seoul Kunstdoc Project Space until the last 9th.
“I hope this work to be something that audience are fascinated at first sight and feel the wonder, but little by little, start to question the justification of the beauty they witness.”
Thus, Photographer Lee JaeWook’s work is like the mouth of a deep cavern: strangely enticing people into looking inside, but too frightening. It is because the cause-and-effect relationship, which shows there’s a cost for beauty, is expressed in a rarely frank way. It is an impressive question or Ariadne's yarn, about how much violence and destruction are conducted and simultaneously hidden, in order to construct the “face” like a city.