June Yong Lee
August 1, 2013 - September 1, 2013
June Yong Lee
What does our skin reveal about us, and more specifically, about our past? Everything that differentiates us–the unique patterns of freckles, wrinkles, scars, or tattoos etched on our outer shells–reflects the larger human experience, as no one escapes these marks that time has left behind. For his Torso Series, artist June Yong Lee photographed and digitally manipulated the midsections of his subjects to create unconventional large-scale portraits of human bodies. Much in the way that our memory can be unreliable, Lee’s images tread the line between fact and fiction, abstracting the physical traces of experience that are at once personal and universal, strange yet familiar.
“Bodies record personal stories and suggest the ways that we remember. Skin, in particular, reflects who we are and tells stories that we might not always recognize. Memories, like scars on skin, are fragile. Some scars last longer than others while some heal but never disappear, helping us preserve memory. We use tattoos to engrave memories under our skin and make them permanent. We change the form of our bodies by losing and gaining weight. Although memories deteriorate and denature with time, our skin never forgets.”
Originally from South Korea, June Yong Lee earned his MFA from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2011, and currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Photography Program at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania. He has presented solo shows at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, Gallery101 at the University of Georgia, Athens, the UMKC Gallery of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Indiana University Art Museum in Bloomington, in addition to participating in various group exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally. Lee’s photographs are held in the collections of the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts in Japan and the Kinsey Institute Collections in Bloomington, Indiana.