Who owns the land

Chanyoung Lee

During my whole journey as an artist, I could not have the opportunity to work ‘in’ my motherland though I have been producing the conceptual works of it while studying abroad in Canada. I also did not have any chance to observe people and scenes in detail in Korea either before. Last year when I was staying and working in Korea due to Covid, I could find out that everything on the street in Korea is full of new inspirations and energy for me. In the project produced at that time, alienated feelings from the familiar places was playing a key role in arousing certain moods and feeling from both of those who are already familiar with the places and who are not. The location becomes the stage without any context and the scenes on the street become staged. This can be only done under certain conditions and there cannot be any identical works. This series can be a documentation of the location like other documentary photography, but it is also documentation of personal interaction which is hard to be photographed in the form of street photography. In other words, this series is the live documentation of the locations and also re-built with my own view at the same time.

Chanyoung Lee

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Chanyoung Lee (John)

Chanyoung Lee, based in Vancouver, Canada and Seoul, South Korea, produces photographic series mainly of street photography and documentation. My inspiration mainly comes from the experiences in different cultures as an immigrant. I sometimes simply compare them, sometimes separate them, and sometimes I also raise my own opinions.

I feel like taking photographs is either like working in a chemistry lab or writing an autobiography. Sometimes we know how the results are going to look like, sometimes we depend more on luck. Even though we sharply shape and calculate the scenes before transforming those data to the actual images, still there is always some room for involvement of something irresistible. It may change the whole scene from what I expected, but I treat them as the same and unconscious part of me.

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