Myoung Ho Lee photographs solitary trees framed against white canvas backdrops in the middle of natural landscapes. To install the large canvases, which span approximately 60 by 45 feet, the artist enlists a production crew and heavy cranes. Minor components of the canvas support system, such as ropes or bars, are later removed from the photograph through minimal digital retouching, creating the illusion that the backdrop is floating behind the tree.
The series includes diverse species of trees photographed with a 4x5 camera in a variety of seasons and at different times of day. Mr. Lee allows the tree’s natural surroundings to fill the frame around the canvas, transforming the backdrop into an integral part of the subject. Centered in the graphic compositions, the canvas defines the form of the tree and separates it from the environment. By creating a partial, temporary outdoor studio for each tree, Mr. Lee’s “portraits” of trees play with ideas of scale and perception while referencing traditional painting and the history of photography.
Myoung Ho Lee is the recipient of awards including the first Young Photographer’s Award from the Photo Artist’s Society of Korea in 2005, Korea’s Photography Critics Award in 2006 and a grant from the Culture and Art Fund from the Arts Council of Korea in 2007. Mr. Lee was born in Daejon, South Korea in 1975 and currently lives and works in Seoul, South Korea.
☁ MYOUNG HO LEE