kyunghee lee – island

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Kyunghee Lee



‘Island’ is not an real island. It’s just a metaphor.

I am an island. You are an island. We all are islands.

I would like to say “the relationship and communication” between you and I.

I have always thought about them…

‘Island’ is the reflection and introspection on relationship and communication.

-Kyunghee Lee



When art mirrors life, the reflection seen is both an inner vision of the artist and  taps into the psyche of the viewer as well. Humankind is made up of many “individuals”, but a true artist is able to trigger something inside of all of us who may view the work even though the work is coming from a unique “personal vision”…

Such an artist in Kyunghee Lee. With her eye and spirit, Kyunghee Lee uses the camera to tell us what she feels.  While we, the viewers, may not expect what she shows us and are enlightened by what she shows us, we surely understand the moment.  Viewers want surprises and to see something from everyday life seen in a new context.  Kyunghee gives us this special pleasure. The world never quite looks the same again after looking at her photographs.

When I see her photographs , I sense a romanticism and a lyricism coming from deep inside.  Her inner being and personality are put right it front of us, but not in an  overt way, but with grace and subtlety and style. When I see her work, I recognize the elements, the place, the mood, and yet her pictures  come at me in way that I know I have never seen before.  This is art at it’s best. Recognition with enlightenment. Familiarity with surprise. Distance with emotion.

Kyunghee Lee is free and freedom is hard to find.  She does it by dancing . By playing  with the ordinary she achieves the extraordinary.  Her unpretentious photographs hold us.  Keep us. Make us think for awhile, and yet let us travel as we may through her juxtapositions of  unselfconscious simplicity and raw curiousity.

Kyunghee Lee is flying with a warm wind. And the wind will carry her far and to places even she cannot imagine.  We will always be waiting to find out where she will take us.

David Alan Harvey


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Kyunghee Lee


119 Responses to “kyunghee lee – island”

  • Dark, out of focus images seem to be popular these days.

  • I was unsure about this piece as it flowed before me but at the end I felt strangely satisfied and I’m unsure as to why, though I did want it to continue a while longer.

    I’ll be back for more again later. This is one I need to see a few more times.

    I did experience an urge to take off my clothes and go swimming. I wanted to swim in those images above. That’s where the satisfaction comes from, I think. I’m a swimmer. I love the water. It calls me every time.

  • I’ve been waiting for this moment. Kyunghee Lee’s “Island.” I’ve now watched it 3 times with the music on and once with it off. I think I prefer allowing the images to pull me into their depths in silence, like the undertow forcing sand particles through my bare toes. I just want Kyunghee’s vision to become my own with nothing in the way, not even beautiful music.

    Yes, I guess to some, “Island” might simply look like dark, out of focus images. But to me they are poems that cry out to be seen with new eyes, a new heart. Kyunghee forces me to look beyond the obvious, to peer into the distance, to crane my neck to see what she sees. She embues beauty with ugliness, ugliness with beauty. Nothing is as I expect it to be.

    I am not the same person I was before looking at this essay. And nothing will look the same to me again. You, dear Kyunghee, are a magician.


  • JIM…

    dark??? hmmmm, i only see LIGHT….

    cheers, david

  • Kyunghee
    Congratulations on Island!!!
    I am sorry – but I have not been moved by Island – I watched twice. Please explain what do you feel, felt?
    I just don’t feel that the sequence tells a story, shows me your mood, exposes my own mood to myself, except raising a lot of questions that I am asking right in this paragraph. I can pick beautiful pictures out of all but I can’t relate them all together – I am trying to scroll through in my mind and attempting to remember images: I can only recall those that I have seen before on your site and the out of focus ship. Music does make the whole thing dark. This is my perception – nothing more, nothing less. I have seen your other work and love it.

    David –
    Where is the light? What is it that I don’t understand? Why?

    All, tell me, nail me I want to hear.

    I do not personally know Kyunghee. But those who do, does her personality make a difference in the way you see this essay?


  • “I am not the same person I was before looking at this essay. And nothing will look the same to me again. You, dear Kyunghee, are a magician.”

    In what way are you a different person? How will you see the world now? I’ve watched this numerous times and all I can see are a bunch of photos with objects in the foreground out of focus. I’m with Haik: do you know this person personally? Obviously, I’m just not getting these photos and essays.

    Well, the cows were kind of cute.

  • Mr. Harvey —

    what’s up with the music? not sure it’s the right choice, i liked the sequence better without it. and, i don’t know if you ever addressed the matter which was raised a few weeks ago here, about music rights. can you do this — it’s a non-commercial site, i know, but aren’t you nonetheless broadcasting this music? vincent laforet has a highly traffic’d blog, and uses music — and there he talks about sponsorship from various companies funding his projects… i’m confused… but not about the success of kyunghee’s art!

    you would not be hurting the work here to show your slideshows without music. aren’t the power of the images sufficient?

  • Hey Jim –

    Not sure where you’re coming from, photography-wise, whether you are a practioner, fan, what… these pieces aren’t for everyone, but neither is anything on dah’s blog.

    many of them are abstracts… there’s a sophisticated eye at work here balancing the formal elements in the frame — light, dark, shapes, depth, focus, harmony in each image and harmony in the way they relate to one another…

    am i a changed person, is it magical??? no / maybe!

  • I am a photographer, but I clearly do not have a sophisticated eye. I’m a huge fun of DAH’s photography, but this stuff is something else entirely.

  • sorry for my bad english.what is this…art…whats hapening with the documentary.i dont understand the artist.this images not espectacular.

  • if you were to return after you have died, if you were to sense the world around you, sifting between those spaces in front of you, the places where though your scent and print have gone, still shape of you, still mediate between the focal point of your senses and all that loss around….

    a mediation on loss and sorrow, how we often imagine a place and what it shall be after we’ve gone though we have still, remained, there….as if we are seeing through the eyes of our spectre-selves, gone…..

    not an essay but a lament, not a howl but a sob, not a document but a diary, not description but evocation, not reasoned but intuited, not a truth but an anticipation, not dark but, as filled with light as an eye can meter because as goethe reminded, it is only in the shape and body of the shadow that we see the richest light…..

    no more comments from me….

    got pictures and books to make….


  • that should have been, ‘if you were to return after you had died, taken a walk around in order to see and sense the world around you…’etc….typing shit…..


  • Life itself is an experience that depending on the perspective of whom goes through it create a perception…
    Kyunghee, the isolation of the images from the rest of the context, the blurriness of the fore-image contrasting with the sharpness of the back ground, light contrast, and light on the uncertain are always a form to see an Island.

    Thank you, and congratulations on your essay.

  • Bob Black has created a word poem in response to this visual poem. And I am asked exactly how I am changed by experiencing “Island.” I’m sorry but the change to which I refer does not translate easily into words. It is a shift in perception, in how I see, how I interpret what I see…and how I recognize all that I do not yet see.

    I appreciate that work like Kyunghee Lee’s will not speak to everyone, and that is no reflection on the viewer or the photographer. But her work bears close attention. I personally think Kyunghee is one of the most original photographers of our time.


  • The appeal for me in Kyunghee’s work is in the romance and the poetry I see in her images. Or rather, that I FEEL in her images.

    I like her selective focus, the abstract framing, the fact that you have to look, really look, into the image to figure it out. And sometimes even then you cannot. It’s like a well crafted poem. It will shoot like an arrow straight to the heart of some and others will shake their head in bewilderment. But isn’t that true of any creative endeavor?

    Haik asked “Does knowing Kyunghee make you view her work differently?” I think not, and nor should it. Her work stands alone and in person, Kyunghee is as gentle and melodic as her images are onscreen.

    Kyunghee – I am now the proud owner of a signed edition of Island :) Congratulations!! Manhattan dream next???


    you can certainly watch the show with or without music…the choice of music belongs to the photographer…….

    cheers, david

  • This piece really makes me think. I didn’t get it so much, but I think it points out some very interesting stuff that needs to be brought to focus.
    It sorta left me hanging there, wanting to know “what’s next, etc..” I definitely think that this could become a very interesting piece if you make it more clear. It left me with sorta an itch that I can’t scratch. It portrays a very creeping feeling, like a chill down my spine. It made my stomach muscles sorta constrict at the thought of some absurd things. Reminds me of a great depression era. Sort of like a town being corrupted after a major disaster. I don’t know, just the thoughts in my head… Many of you probably disagree though.

    I think you have a very good start so far, just needs some touch up here and there to make the story make sense.
    But congratulations! Keep it up.

  • The above comment is from my 14 year old daughter, Kacia… If she is around I ask her to watch the essays with me; her comment surprised me!!

    I like your vision of water and sky, being one of the same… Living in California, I find the pacific to be very passionate… The body of water that you photographed, and the sky, seemed to hold mystery and questions…. Keep seeking the questions… for in that, is the success of your story… It left me wanting answers, that I know at times are not there… Have to love the questions themselves….

  • I’m at a loss for words.

    Several times I have started to write a comment and deleted it, not wanting to be critical. I can see that Kyunghee has a unique talent and I don’t want to negate that in any way.

    As much as I’d like to stick to the philosophy that “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it” it seems even worse to see this site become a place where no one does anything but tell each other how great they are.

    So how to talk about photography without saying “I like it” or “I don’t like it?” I truly don’t know.

    The best I can come up with is that this is lovely poetry. I understand what Kyunghee is doing and she does it well but I’m just not interested in lovely poetry. I’m interested in hard core images that knock my socks off! I STILL can not forget the new image David showed taken at a bris. AMAZING. Can’t wait to see that one again. I want to see photos that make me jump out of my chair screaming “YEAH”. I suppose some of you must feel that way about this work….but I don’t. If it makes you feel any better, I’m as critical of myself as I am everyone else. I wish I were as turned on by all the work that’s been shown on this site as most of you seem to be, but I’m not. Not yet anyhow.

  • JIM …HAIK…

    as i have said before , i would not expect everyone to like everything…and , as in everything subjective , there are certain sensibilities that are often “acquired”…how much Asian photography have you seen??? as you probably know , the Eastern sensibility does not “answer questions” in the way that Westerners usually demand…does not reveal..does not explain…is not didactic… i do not think a Western photographer could/would have taken these pictures, and i suspect not every Westerner will immediately grasp them either….is that really a surprise??

    these first essays i have presented here on BURN are all of a certain subjective “type”….you will soon be presented with other visions….some will move you , some will not…by the time BURN is a month or so old, you may start to see my reasons for presenting certain bodies of work…i am going for a long term totality with BURN….hopefully, like a good book or film , not all is revealed at the beginning…we are so so used to instant information gratification and need to know all of the answers right away…clear , clean, just as we see everyday in the mass media…i have nothing against the immediate dissemination of information, but would bore myself to death if that was my goal here on BURN…there are plenty of terrific magazines which do that already….i have zero interest in producing a mass appeal magazine…i want to explore…..i want you to explore with me….to open up your mind just a bit…i am not saying you have to accept what is here , but i do suggest sleeping on it….if you really really dislike something, then go out and photograph your alternative…get fired up beyond the keyboard…..submit your work…i will publish your efforts as well…show me something on the leading edge, or over the edge, or too too hard or too too sentimental or too too anything, and i will jump on it…

    in any case, your questions are good and valid and i welcome very much your criticism…as you can already tell by my previous comments, if everyone loved everything, then i would know for sure i had failed…like everything i do , i want BURN to be a body of work….in its totality…BURN may go on for a year and manifest itself in print, or not last another week…who knows?? even that does not matter to me at all…well, i will stick around to give you some alternatives to the first 5 or 6 essays….not to pander to you nor please you , because you are not “clients” to be satisfied….but, because i truly love many different styles of work and if you stick around long enough you will find out exactly what i mean…

    cheers and respectfully, david

  • CATHY…

    please go back and read what i just wrote to Haik and Jim….you are being honest and that is fair enough….actually Cathy i went back and spent about two hours reading all of the comments in the first ten days in the life of BURN….80% of the comments were well thought out, as yours, and very few just said “i like it” or “i don’t like it”….

    hey, you are still around after all this time….thanks for that Cathy…and i am waiting for you to take one of those pictures you want to see so bad…one that knocks my socks off!!! no, no , no , lovely poetry would not be your thing…

    as always, wishing you well my friend….

    cheers, david

  • ok…
    i just watched “it”….
    honestly, i’m gonna read all the comments after i “let it out”, “spit it out”, let my heart speak:
    this time , i need to speak up… not :”i like your book coz you’re my friend” kinda thing… no way…
    Truth is : i lost my mind…
    i watched it with & without music…
    i watched it sober & not… this is a masterpiece…
    Unbelievable… Softness, air, space, infinity, 3-dimensional,
    in & out your soul, like fresh air that doesn’t reside in Los Angeles,
    like a poem, like a feather in the wind, like a bird, like a message,
    like a good movie, like a good book,
    like a friend… like a Great Photograph…

    you see, me and K.Lee do not really know each other…
    Kyunghee Lee barely speaks english but she is the cutest creature in the world…
    when i met her in brooklyn & witnessed her unique way of shooting and holding the camera…
    i freaked out…
    she is unique coz she thinks “unique”
    fuck talent… there is no such a thing as talent..
    you either work on it with your soul involved or not…
    dosnt need to speak any language but, she “speaks”
    them all…. she is a TRUE ARTIST…
    she can speak the “universal” language that derives from the heart…
    Look at this slideshow over and over…
    She does not manipulate your feelings…
    she doesnt try to scare you, for attention..
    there is no blood ( unlike mine ) involved, or sex, or death…
    no shocking of any kind…
    no hollywood involved..
    K.Lee keeps it real, coz
    she is REAL…
    My heart started going faster & faster…
    coz i knew where she was taking me…
    i can relate…
    i have seen the world just like that too before…
    thats why i RELATE…
    but, big but….but you know what?…
    i never dared or even occurred to me to PHOTOGRAPH
    or CAPTURE the world this way…
    in such a CONSISTENT way…
    did i just said the C word???
    Sorry i cant write more about it but this was a “punch”
    in all of my “artistic” values…
    I cant believe that artists of that “level” still “exist”
    to our days… K.Lee is as close to S.Dali, or Picasso
    as possible….ready to be “discovered”…
    I loved that “thing”…
    i cant even call it an “essay”… that piece was pure art…
    i will read now all the comments above…
    im curious to see the responses…
    i cant believe what i saw…
    She is a whole another lane…
    B&W or color, doesnt matter for K.Lee…
    she dont care…
    she has a third eye… literally…
    a 3rd eye that … we have it too but its sleeping…
    its eyelid is heavy… you see we have it but its “lazy”…
    never been used for years…
    thats why and how WE, the rest of us, the audience, the sheep…
    K.Lee is that “3rd eye” opener…
    that is her “JOB” as an ARTIST…
    An eye/soul OPENER..
    K.Lee… i wish U the best… i wish i were U for a minute…
    U are blessed…
    I am your fan for life… not even “envy” can help me tonight coz


  • DAVID,

    That is exactly, absolutely the type of answer I wanted to hear. There was not a single second I have stopped thinking about Kyunghee’s Island. I had not a slight doubt of essay being extraordinary. But I have been intrigued. I am a tinkerer by nature. I cannot just say I don’t like it, put a period, and move on. I have to understand but I had no place to put my fingers and start digging. The essay was and is above my understanding at the moment but you have pointed me in the right direction: “acquired” sensibilities, Asian photography, culture. Those are the concepts for me to hang on, research, and understand.

    In contrast to many here on BURN, I do NOT claim to be a photographer. I had relatively little exposure to the art of photography, photographers, styles, lack of latter as a style. I am here to see, hear, feel, understand, learn myself, learn others. I would have left if the fruit was hanging too low. Over last couple of months my interest in photography has exploded and the fire is getting bigger and bigger day by day – thanks to you, David. I am obsessed and passionate about it. I saw Kyunghee’s Island as a challenge for myself and it is nothing else but a driving force, a trigger to find the edge and walk on it.


    If I have sounded disrespectful and pointlessly criticizing, please accept my apologies. I was not. Never intended. My words were to bring up a discussion.
    I would love to feel the Island in me. I would like to discuss it with you when I do.

    … with love

  • Kyunghee

    You know what I think about your ‘island’.
    I will buy your book as soon as possible.

  • David

    Do you think there is still place in photography world for photographers who want shoot like Larry Towell?
    I know there is a place for Larry Towell, he is a big master, but for young photographer who want to take pictures as simple as Towell do?
    There is any need for photographers with this aesthetics? I mean high level photography.
    I don’t see young top photographers who working like he is latley.

  • Beautiful, I love the mood that the music and images create together… there´s a lot of sensitivity in this work… Island really transports you to another place… I felt like hypnotized for a moment.
    Great work Kyunghee Lee.

  • Am i too early to accept that human vision worth nothing without a soul? I bet Kyunghee is laughing at us, who do not see.

    I feel now – these feeling may and will possibly change and that is the best of Island …

    we distanced from ourselves
    we love what we don’t have
    we are dead
    we fall and look for help
    we don’t help ourselves
    we omit the obvious
    we are boxed in our own made prison
    we never see the savior ship
    we are a fantasy

    i am buying the book, what should i do to have it signed, fingerprinted, stepped on by you. please. how do i email you?

  • I really enjoyed this. The images are of a beautiful graphicality, yet quite down paced. I was actually checking this on the slideshow of photoniceeye (I remember thinking there was a photograph with an out of focus tree that reminded me of Tomatsu’s -it’s in Skin of a Nation among others-). I liked the sequencing as well. Only issue I had, and this might be my monitor, was some highlights I’d kept down and some squished blacks, probably looks better on print, and some too sharp bits for my taste (like a digi conversion to b&w). I don’t know of how much importance to anybody such technical things are when you can try to solve or experience Kyunghee’s Island.

  • O.K. I’m out of here. This is getting too silly for me. I will check back occassionally and see if DAH has gotten back to documentary photography. But this site is turning into an artistic photography love fest. One DeviantArt is enough.

  • i think with these type of images it all very much comes down to taste.

    it’s not really my cup of tea – but there were individual images that spoke to me.

    it was in some ways a visual relief to reach images 24-25 when there WASN’T something blurred and out of focus cutting across the frame.

    i’ve got no problems with foreground bluriness as a device, but it seems overused in this essay to the point where it became a gimmick.

  • some wonderful mexican/spanish/slavish/guitar/violin kitsch.

  • David,

    I must confess that I am also one that doesn’t get it, and maybe after revisiting the work a few times, I still may not get it. But I do agree with what you have said and you are right, everything is not going to appeal to everybody. In the end though, hopefully those who dislike a particular essay or style will still be able to respect the work for what it is.

    Education does not mean agreeing with everything you have learned.

  • Pretty brilliant! Focus is on infinity in most shots as you’re longing away from the island to something new. The blur is what you leave behind, your current state. This is how I interpret it.


  • ben wrote: “”i’ve got no problems with foreground bluriness as a device, but it seems overused in this essay to the point where it became a gimmick.””

    fully agree with this!

  • and this kind of agruments and disussion I will support.

  • David, you write that we want answers, right now, and that this might be the problem in not understanding the essay. Might be like this for somebody, my problem with the essay is that it doesn’t make me ask questions. I hardly ever look for answers looking at photography, or art for that matter. But I need to be stimulated to wonder. Looking through it, without reading the words, without listening to the music, that is what I’m left with: ok, and now?

    Nothing personal, probably seeing the prints versus the grey and black pixels here on screen would help to appreciate the photographic side of it more.

  • and Even Bavcar’s pics are a gimmick?….is it just possible that a photographer choses to shoot in a certain way because that is how she sees the world?….and isnt interested at all in what others consider a gimmick?….

  • DAH: “The world never quite looks the same again after looking at her photographs”

    Seriously, do you really mean that ?

  • bob, we’re not speaking about Even Bavcar. we’re discussing Kyunghee Lee’s “Islands”.

    i found the repetition frustrating for about the first 23 images, and then a 2 image break and more of the same. my point of view. if that’s how Kyunghee Lee see’s the world then good for her, I’m just pointing out that I (my opinion only!) found it repetitive.

    call me demanding, but when i view a body of work its always nice to see some variety.

  • Thank you, dear Bob, for introducing me to Evgen Bavcar! His “vision” validates all I’ve ever thought about the artist’s sight. Artists like Bacar and Kyunghee Lee see through something other than their eyes. What that “something” is, I do not know, all I know is that they look “through” not “at” what the rest of us assume is reality.


  • “i do not think a Western photographer could/would have taken these pictures, and i suspect not every Westerner will immediately grasp them either”

    I fear i’m too typical a Westerner (no, I don’t fear: I’m absolutely sure about that, also looking at the way I approach photography myself… soaked up, as I have been, with all the “western” art and culture that were left around – and unfortunately too often forgotten or scarred – from the Romans on, in this tiny land called Italy… a peninsula btw) . So living on a peninsula (stubbornly attached on one side to the Pythagorean logic, the linear perspective, the scientific approach and all the typical steroids for left brain) does not allow me (unfortunately, again) to catch the fascination of Kyunghee’s island.

    Nevertheless, I really appreciate the fact that Burn offers such different point of views (in terms of essays and selected photos) about photography. Where else could I find them?

  • HAIK..

    you are a good and respectful man…i know that from being with you in person and from your writing…asking sincere questions and presenting your point of view is exactly what i want you to do here…to feel at home….to help raise the bar of discussion for all of us…

    i cannot speak for Kyunghee Lee but i am sure she welcomes all discussion as well….she comes from a culture of extreme politeness and face saving presentation, but certainly not a culture afraid to make feelings known in the long run….Kyunghee is diminutive in her physicality and she occupies almost no “space”….but do not think for a minute she is not strong….poets are intellectual warriors …..

    one of the truly exciting things in life for me is in accepting and appreciating the myriad of personalities and cultures…and the creative expressions resulting… for example, i would relish the meeting of Kyunghee Lee and Panos Skoulidas…culture clash??? absolutely…final line of communication??…absolutely…

    we are all tribal by nature…we like what is familiar…we seek out members of our own tribe…but, the wise woman/man sees that the fish hook developed by the tribe over on the other side of the island enables catching a totally different species of fish than what has been seen before….so, you do not throw away the old fish hook as long as you are catching fish, but the new one might bring a new delicacy to the table…..

    i do hope to see you in L.A. in the next few weeks….and maybe meet your family???

    cheers, david

  • PETE….

    yes, of course….most of us correctly throw out most of the information that comes to us..all of us are “editing” all the time…..but, you know a funny thing happens even in “rejection”..somewhere down the line you might just see something a bit differently or “looser” by being exposed to another version of “seeing”…Kyunghee’s work would certainly have no place in your world of American newspaper photography…and it does not “tell” you anything in the way that you are normally “told”…

    now amigo, you have an assignment from BURN….to cover the Obama inauguration….you are not being overpaid for this, but you well know that this means a lot to me and will help put you on a new map and help BURN and 37th Frame etc etc etc…symbiotic relationship….the most fun kind….so you do have a little bit of pressure on you, but you are a newspaper photographer, so you should be used to it…and the only pressure on you from me is not the kind of pressure you might get from another publication where you would need to get ” the picture”…quite the contrary….i want you to push your personal seeing way way out there…go where you have not gone before even while covering an international event like the Obamamania that will overtake Washington and the world…

    what does this have to do with Kyunghee Lee? perhaps nothing directly…but, as you well know, what i would wish is for you to keep your solid journalistic integrity and intent and yet allow yourself to go to a “new place” of being just as “honest” as you are but with just a tweak more of what things actually “feel like” as much as what they “look like”….there is no doubt in my mind that you will do it…you are about to shoot the short essay of your life…there is no doubt the importance of January 20, 2009…ceremonial to be sure, but that is why it can make a great essay..the “value” as a news event is already locked….there will be literally millions of pictures taken…all the more reason for you to go LOOSE…freestyle…interpretive….

    have fun Pete…no pressure amigo…but, all of us on BURN will be waiting….(hey, you know i am laughing now ..right???)….all best to Jenny….

    cheers, david

  • ABELE…

    you live in one of my favorite countries in the world…and are from one of my favorite cultures…do not think for one second that i disparage the Western world…i belong to the west….Caravaggio was just as much my teacher as was my room mate Masaaki Okada..hmmmm, i just said “was”…change that to “is” please…

    i hope to meet you when i am next in Italy…Sicily in the spring, Tuscany in the summer and Rome every so often at any time…you anywhere near the aforementioned??

    cheers, david

  • What was that? (first reaction)
    Blurry, unfocused.
    Is this a dog? Is this a bunny? Something gets in front of my view. I don’t know what it is, but I’d like to be there.
    I’m inspired. I want to grab my camera, but I don’t know what to do with it.

  • for me the most interesting so far. maybe because i switched off the speakers :) some shots are really cool and show a great and fresh understanding of how to compose an image. one man´s gimmick is the other one´s consistancy :) it´s moody and suggestive. but i as a viewer prefer to see it pure, without having my imagination forced in a certain direction by the text and the music. maybe it was the photographers intention to work about communication and relationships, but the work is so abstract that i rather decide for myself what it´s about for me. some of the shots made me imediatelly smile, which is always a good thing. but i have to agree with some of the above critic: like all the essays i´ve seen here so far it would benefit from a much tighter edit. i mean, peeps, of course you wanna show it all, but where´s the use when the viewers turn their head away because they become bored by the fillers half the way? the chances are better the audience will appreciate all your good stuff if you show only the good stuff. bring it down to maybe twenty, get rid of theoretical ballast and let the viewer do their own cruise.

  • As my southern mother used to say, “The proof is in the pudding.” Well, Kyunghee Lee’s “Island” has already begun to work its magic in me. I awoke early with the mantra going through my brain: “Poetry, all you need to shoot is poetry.” So I just did. At least that’s how it feels to me. It was like Kyunghee was sitting in my head saying, “Try this. Now, try that.” I hope my self portrait series will never be the same again. If it ain’t poetry, I don’t want it!

    Thanks, sister.


  • I can sense the minds opening.

    Especially mine.

  • by usıng the word ‘gimmick’, you are not suggesting a ‘critical’ question but a pejorative one….that is what i find increasingly depressing here…’repetition’ of a visual motif may not be for everyone, just as kyung-hee’s particular visual vernacular (you familiar with her work outside of Island?) is NOT for everyone…and particularly this ground which seems to be dominated by traditionalists and people interested in ‘objective’ (i dont know what this means) street photographers or documentarians…maybe it has to do with the fact that it’s a magazine cultivated by David and people who were drawn to him by his work (which is more classic)…but Harvey’s work is pretty subjective actually….totally being frustated by her work or the foreground obfuscation/outoffocus or the repetitions is totally fine….i jumped on the word ‘gimmick’…it implies disdain….

    people who dont like it, totally valid….particuarly can be received as either unapologetically (for me) strong or ridiculously narrow (for others) with regard to her work as her vision of the world…repetitive: absolutely….boring, yes for many, uninteresting,….it is not ‘heroic’ fire-in-the-moment stuff…but questioning the repetition and all the out-of-focus stuff is a legitimate question, and one kyung-hee might speak about, but calling it a gimmick is, to my ears, a knock off, a cut down….a pompous indictment of another’s work…

    having no feeling for something: cool…considering something boring: i can live with that….underwhelmed by something: hell yea….

    but considering a particular photographic decision as a gimmick is a beast of a different color…

  • Wow, you guys blow my mind!! First, let me say that I try to validate everyone”s work. This essay is definetly not to my taste…as a landscapist, I don’t “roll that way” meaning no out of focus foregrounds. That said, I would have liked to see a little more “leit motif” here instead of the heavy clubbing. Tease me, confuse me, lead me….bam!!..epiphany! Whoa, where she going here….that’s just not right….c’mon man…bam!!! epihany. Hey, let’s build a mystery. What’s that….my grandmother can take pictures like that…I’m outta here…bam!! Eugene you genius!! Yessss!! Let’s take a boxing metaphor….this essay is presented like a boxer not a knockout artist….ok, not heavy clubbing just jab, jab, jab setting up the knockout…..We are the island distanced from the main. We’re caught up in our own way of seeing, believing….you’re out of focus you landscaping bastard. It’s always about you, isn’t it Cliff??? This work left me questioning myself and if that was her intent I applaud it….after all, she has a book and I have a hard drive full of images.

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