In the early 2000 Lee began using a flatbed scanner to record changes in his skin. He documented sores, pores, freckles and hairs pressed up against the glass, then collaged the scans to create sheets of skin, or diaristic bodyscapes, which he presented as photographs and videos. Over the next few years Lee made numerous works expanding on his idea of the skin portrait, increasingly using scans of other people's bodies.
More recently his work has expanded into a range of video and photographic works that embrace pornography and religion, the abject and the spectacular; that engage the natural sublime and the technological sublime; that conflate high-tech artifice and monstrous bodily organicism; and that fuse vernacular experience with a sense of the religious or spiritual.
The fragmentation, disordering and accumulation of time are also fundamental to Lee's work. This process is revealed in images in his new exhibitionthat invite a double take - they are not quite what they first appear to be. By combining photo-realistic documentation and the fictional possibilities offered by new technologies Lee sets up a compelling interplay of real and virtual experiences in Ground Zerowith a suite of digitally altered, hyper-real images captured while trekking through the mountainous Annapurna region in Nepal.
Jae Hoon Lee's recent solo shows/projects include: Hit the Wall, The New Dowse, Wellington (2010); Tomb, Te Tuhi, Pakaranga, Auckland, New Zealand (2008); Holy Mother Nature!Starkwhite, Auckland, New Zealand (2008); Alchemy of the Land, Starkwhite, Auckland, New Zealand (2006); Skin Projections, Ramp Gallery, Hamilton, New Zealand (2003);Asian Beauty Online, Starkwhite, Auckland, New Zealand (2002).
He has also been represented in group exhibitions including: Present Tense: An Imagined Grammar of Portraiture in the Digital Age, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia (2010); Taste: Food and Feasting in Art, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand (2010); Daniel Crooks and Jae Hoon Lee, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (2008); Bubble Wrap, Gallery Yeh, Seoul, Korea (2007);Asia Pacific Documentary & Video, Performance Space, Sydney, Australia (2006); Square2 , City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand (2005); Hotbed , Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand (2005); Asian Traffic Beijing, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China (2005); Break Shift, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand (2004); Greenhouse , Frankfurter Welle, Germany (2004); Asian Traffic Shanghai, Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China (2004); Asian Traffic, Gallery 4A, Sydney, Australia (2004); Pressing Flesh, the New Gallery (Auckland Art Gallery) New Zealand (2003); and Flesh and Fruity, Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand (2001)
Located in New Zealand on Auckland's Karangahape Road, Starkwhite presents a programme of artists' projects, solo shows, independently curated exhibitions and occasional forays into new music and other interdisciplinary practices. Starkwhite also represents artists from New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific-rim.
Press release courtesy Starkwhite.