Sublime views of the American West by Korean artist Jungjin Lee will be presented at Howard Greenberg Gallery from September 23 through November 21, 2023. The exhibition, entitled Voice, features large and monumental photographs of deserts, mountains, oceans, forests, and plains from 2018 and 2019. With an approach that combines the aesthetics of her heritage with 21st-century techniques, Lee’s lush and velvety landscapes possess a painterly quality and reveal a quiet and profound depth. Her third exhibition at Howard Greenberg Gallery coincides with her 2023 book of the same name published by Nazraeli Press. An opening reception with the artist will be held on Saturday, September 23 from 4-6pm.
Meditative, and introspective, Jungjin Lee’s photographs in Voice capture extraordinary moments in the natural world, vast scenes that are both powerful and serene. Her photography goes beyond a sense of time and place, as if she is asking the viewer to enter an eternal realm with her, one that is deep and contemplative, breathtaking in its scope.
“When I am surrounded by nature, I become freed from my consciousness, and I can see myself more clearly. In the state of such resonance, I have been thinking that I am writing poetry through photos. There’s a very strong message within, and it is a message to be felt rather than to be read,” Lee notes.
Voice 28 2Combining tradition and innovation, Lee expands the boundaries of photographic methods creating images that are simultaneously textural and minimalist. She has developed her own unique process: after printing an image on hand-emulsified cotton or mulberry paper, she then re-photographs the work, altering its finish using chemical and digital technological processes that result in a distinct, high contrast image with a tactile material quality.
Lee’s previous work has also included photographs of the deserts of the American West. In a preface to her Desert Book (2002), Robert Frank wrote: “Jungjin Lee is the Voyager in the American desert… As if taken from the light of the moon, an instant calm emanates from her images… Jungjin has heard a voice in it… she is capable of showing us the reality of her obsession – and that moves me.”
Jungjin Lee (b. 1961) has exhibited her work widely in the United States, Europe, and Korea. Born in Korea, she began photographing in the early 1980s while a ceramics major at Hongik University in Seoul. She earned an M.F.A. in Photography from New York University and was an assistant to Robert Frank. Later, she traveled across the United States and was deeply moved by the American desert, which became the subject of several of her photographic series.
She has published nine monographs including Unnamed Road (2015), Wind (2009), Jungjin Lee (2006), Thing (2005), Desert (2002), On Road/Ocean (2001), Jungjin Lee: Beyond Photography (2000), Wasteland (1997), and Lonely Cabin in a Far Away Island (1988). Lee’s photographs are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Houston Museum of Fine Art; and Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyongju, Korea; and other institutions worldwide. She was honored with an early career retrospective by the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Zurich in 2016, and this year her work was shown at the Goeun Museum of Photography in South Korea. She lives and works in New York City.
23 September- 21 November, 2023