An exhibition of photographs by Jungjin Lee, known for her captivating primal landscapes, will open tomorrow at Howard Greenberg Gallery. Entitled Opening, the exhibition is Lee’s second solo show with the gallery.
Traveling to Arizona, New Mexico, and Canada, Lee made abstract images of the desert and the mountains. “Harnessing the power of visual silence, her photographs inspire a sense of the deep and quiet interaction between the beholder and the elements of the earth,” writes the gallery in the press release. Along these lines, Robert Frank has described her images as “landscapes without the human beast.”
With a profound understanding of texture and craftsmanship, Lee’s large format photographs, hand printed on Korean mulberry paper, present a weight and physical presence that is both mysterious and deliberate. Many of the images in Opening are narrow verticals, reminiscent of the shape of hanging scrolls, which hint at Eastern philosophies and the pursuit of inner peace.
“I don’t portray landscapes or nature,” says Lee. “The desert makes me see my inner self clearly and my aim is to make images of what I feel there—my inner state of mind, the eternal sense of being open and present.”
Jungjin Lee (b. 1961) has exhibited her work widely in the United States, Europe, and the country in which she was born, Korea. Lee began photographing in the early 1980s while studying ceramics at Hongik University in Seoul. She later earned an M.F.A. in Photography from New York University, and was an assistant to Robert Frank. She has published ten monographs and her photographs are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Houston Museum of Fine Art; the Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyongju, Korea, and other prestigious institutions worldwide.