The photographs currently on display in the Fishbowl Gallery are clearly the work of separate artists: two seem to depict some sort of ethereal, muted drowning scene, segueing into a visceral but poignant homage to the wolf, then, finally, massive, stark black and white prints of some empty street, some empty night. Only further examination allows the connections between these seemingly unrelated works to become apparent. “LAYERS,” is a group show, featuring the work of three Pratt photography students, second year MFA candidate SeungHun Lee and first year MFA candidates June Kim and JongHeon Kim.
|June Kim, I Wolf (top), 2010 and Family of Present (below), 2010|
Yet Ms. Kim’s savage, carnal fun seems almost too real and too vicious adjacent to the ethereal, intangible images presented by JongHeon Kim. The artist explores themes of identity, station, and social signifiers; literally asking, “Why do people try to find their identities by outer looks? Why do people evaluate others by the prices of the clothes that they wear? Why cannot people penetrate the shallow exterior and see what is beneath it, what is really valuable and meaningful?”
|JongHeon Kim, Lookism #1, 2009|
Last, most somber, and darkest by far are the large-scale exterior night shots by SeungHun Lee. Lee positions the viewer as voyeur in these massive matte black and white prints, peering into bright windows and the lives of others from the safe shroud of anonymous darkness afforded by some random street at night. Lee says, “When the sun goes down, and time passes into midnight, and artificial lights illuminate the world, I go across the boundaries to alternate narratives: void of humans, enigmatic spaces, and reflections of artificial light. These areas stimulate my visual senses to think about what is and what is not.”
|SeungHun Lee, Bayside, New York #3, March 2010|
It seems these works, on one level, all discuss the meaning of belonging or social strata, essentially one of the many layers this work shares. Where Ms. Kim embeds herself into the family of the wolf, Lee observes the lives of others from afar, and Mr. Kim dissects the meaning of rank and social identity as determined by meaningless exterior trappings. “LAYERS” will be on view in the Fishbowl Gallery through December 3, 2010.
JongHeon Kim http://kimjongheon.deluxe.livebooksedu.com/
June Kim http://www.june-kim.com/
SeungHun Lee http://seunghunlee.com/