History of Collage & Photomontage: Leah Henry

The piece I decided to reflect on is by a Korean artist named Jiyen Lee. Born in 1979, Lee attained a Bachelor of Fine arts from Hong-Ik University in 2005. She then went on to study at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she graduated in 2010 with a Master’s Degree. This specific piece is part of a series where Lee has created a variety of digital collages. She manipulates images of crowds to develop hypnotizing works of art that are quite captivating. The images that she uses are usually from a bird’s eye view of people on staircases or escalators. Lee’s work is very puzzling which provokes her audience to use their imagination.

It was unclear exactly what kind of software Lee has used for her work, but I assume she used something similar to Adobe Photoshop. Considering that she completed her education within the last decade, she must be somewhat familiar with today’s technology. In addition, this piece was created in 2017 which means she most likely used software that has recently been developed. Since Lee has probably used newer technology, I think that the tools provided by this software influenced her style of work. A program like Photoshop would allow her to generate such intricate pieces, where before it would be much more difficult to produce.

I find it interesting how Lee created these patterns using very similar images in each piece, if not the same image in one work of art. She uses repetition in a very inventive way throughout all of her pieces. The series is absolutely fascinating, and I find myself studying each piece to figure out what exactly I am looking at. When I first looked at this certain piece, I did not realize I was looking at people standing on what seems to be an escalator. Originally I just saw some sort of illusion that looked like a dark hole. The patterns get darker towards the center which gives off the impression that it is “deeper” there and that there is depth. Also, the lines are placed in a way that guides my eyes to the middle of the piece. Lee’s work is so captivating in the sense that one has to really analyze it in order to understand how she made it. Overall, I enjoyed learning about Jiyen Lee and the mystifying series that she has constructed.

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