Within the confines of her tiny studio in Seoul, Korean artist JeeYoung Lee creates a world of her own, transforming apartment into an intricate dreamscape plucked from traditional Korean fables and her own imagination. Unwilling to use Photoshop to digitally alter the images of her 3-by-6-meter space, she spends weeks and occasionally even months shaping the minute details of each scene’s props and lighting design by hand.
Once completed, she takes a self-portrait within the set to showcase “her quest for an identity, her desires, and her frame of mind,” according to the brief for her exhibition, “Stage of Mind,” which debuts in February at the Opiom Gallery in Opio, France.
According to the Opiom Gallery’s press release: “Her creations act as a catharsis which allows her to accept social repression and frustrations.”
In Resurrection, a greenery-filled, mystical scene has the artist emerging from a lotus flower and was inspired by the Korean folktale of Shim Cheong and Shakespeare’s Ophelia. But it also tells the tale of the artist’s own experience. “I was born again by overcoming negative elements that had dragged me down and cleansed myself emotionally,” she says.”The figure within a lotus blooming implies a stronger self who was just born again and is facing a new world.”
Even with the bright colors and fairy tale roots, many of Lee’s sets present dark themes, from misunderstandings and disappointment in relationships to the emotional chaos a child feels while growing up to human competition for the world’s limited resources.
[Hat tip: Colossal]