Describing herself as a visual artist who uses photography as her chosen medium, Gowun Lee explores social issues in a conceptual manner. She received her BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, and her work has been included in exhibitions around the world, the most recent being the 2018 Aperture Summer Open titled The Way We Live Now in New York.
Lee has moved from New York to South Korea for her ongoing project which brings light to the fact that the majority of LGBTQ people in South Korea have to hide their true identities, despite the increase in LGBTQ activism and awareness. This is represented visually in her series I’m Here With You, where the people photographed never face the camera directly. Instead their bodies are turned and their faces are hidden. “The LGBTQ individuals photographed – all facing away from the camera – remind us of how Korean society continues to neglect and refuse to accept them. “By creating these images, my intent is to both implicate the viewer in the nation’s larger refusal to acknowledge the identity of LGBTQ individuals and, more importantly, to spur us all to take action and change this attitude once and for all,” Lee says in an interview with the UK’s Daily Mail. This series is a powerful portrayal of lived experiences, and the way in which this affects people’s lives, with those photographed often alone within the frame. A creepy stillness becomes apparent with Lee’s compositional choices.
To check out more of work visit Lee’s website.