Artworks

Invisible Beings

Photography is a tool to document physical beings. Since the invention of photography, photographers have represented the events and objects of their times within optical limits. A photographic record seems accurate but is not a complete truth. Nevertheless, a photograph is obviously an outgrowth of a photographer’s observations and perceptions.

Everything in nature has its own function and appearance. That being is perceived within humanity’s limitations of visual representation. A very small being cannot be an object of thought because it cannot provide enough visual information to be of interest. High-magnification photographs produced using a mechanical device makes invisible beings visible by offering sufficient visual information. They also bring beings that are so small they are considered merely conceptual into the realm of real beings.

Invisible Beings is divided into two categories: Individual Series and Society Series. Individual Series features defective electronic components measuring 1.5-3㎜ that were shot using an industrial-use camera with a high degree of fixation at high magnification. Enlarged to an extreme, these still lifes enable us to perceive invisible things as visible so that we may reason with them. This series was inspired from the idea that electronic components might be akin to men in that no matter how perfect one is, his or her inner world is usually fraught with mistakes, failures, scars, and pain. Society Series features 10,000 electronic components that were photographed once each and then arranged in a 100 x 100 format to create a single picture. The 10,000 components stand for a society in which each individual interacts with one another. I worked on this while thinking of them as individuals fraught with scars and experiences of failures.

Electronic components have long been nothing but objects for making a living but while executing the series Invisible Beings they became objects of introspection through observation and contemplation. They are newly discovered beings not found in images corresponding to any industrial purpose and are representations of our unfamiliar experience with light that can be explained only theoretically. This series is expected to serve as an opportunity for viewers to ponder something together, even though it may go against what they have originally thought.

It seems meaningless to distinguish what is scientific technology and what is art. At the time where technology has replaced humans, why does it feel thrilled to see technology replaces art?

Lee Youngjune(Machine Critic)

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