photo-eye : : June 2010
Antone's Picks: Jungjin Lee's 'Wind'
As an artist who has worked with the New Mexico History Museum's Photographic Archives, and has spent countless hours handling precious photographic objects from some of the first salt prints depicting the American West to hand colored platinum prints of South America, I can easily say I have an affinity for the process of image making.
While I personally feel process can obstruct content and the meaning of an image, I think Korean photographer Jungjin Lee's photographs are only elevated by the use of her own photographic process. Lee's textural photographs are hand coated with liquid emulsion on the surface of handmade rice paper, adding an ethereal dimension to the landscapes Lee photographs.
This quality translates beautifully in Lee's book Wind published by Aperture and Sepia International. The images in Wind are often simple depictions of everyday objects found in the landscape, but the simplicity of the content and quality of the process merge naturally, often allowing for deep contemplation of a simple subject.
Lee's use of grainy texture and lack of detail remind me of Swedish photographer Anders Petersen's photographic aesthetic (lacking of course the brutal sense of reality Petersen often displays). And while Lee's photographs often depict a surreal quality, there is a certain aspect of documentation found within the landscape in almost all of Lee's images. Wind demonstrates Lee's ability to explore the land in a unique way, and more often than not Lee's process adds to the singular simplicity of her subject.