Simple in concept, complex in execution, he makes us look at a tree in its natural surroundings, but separates the tree artificially from nature by presenting it on an immense white ground, as one would see a painting or photograph on a billboard. The work demands thoughtful analysis.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Myoung Ho Lee's trees
I came across this on Lensculture - When is a Tree Not a Tree, the work of South Korean artist Myoung Ho Lee (longer article here).
Trees have (for obvious reasons, I think) been a staple subject for photographers from the beginning - I think of some of Atget's, or Sommer's or Friedlanders trees for example.
It's certainly an interesting take - as well as an awful lot of work. I do think it is worth looking at - as Lensculture says:
The one problem with this kind of work is that it is indeed so simple in concept that it can actually be spoiled by what comes after. If Myoung Ho Lee goes to just keep taking more and more pictures of trees, or even worse, more pictures of things with big white backdrops, then I think this work will suffer as a consequence. After something like this the artist can sometimes have a hard time reinventing themselves.
Oh, and in a way, it also reminds me of some of the "tree" work of Rodney Graham:
(Last Picture: Rodney Graham)
Posted by tim atherton at 8:26 am