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.
Sang Yong Shim (Art Critic, and Professor at Dongduk Women's University), has written a long intellectual essay about this work. Translation of these dense ideas is difficult. So, what follows is a shortened and very simplified version of the long essay:
and its Visual Confirmation
Myoung Ho Lee separates subjects from their original circumstances to derange the difference between subject and image. His work reveals nature by twists and turns, a little fabrication and optical illusion.
Myoung Ho Lee enacts his works as 'a series of discourse on deconstruction on the photography-act'.
His works are largely composed by following four procedures:
1. Selection of The Subject
2. Separation of The Subject (meta-subject)
4. Confirmation of The Separation
First of all, Look at the procedure (2), separating the subject from its environmental condition artificially. By setting a big white fabric vertically for playing a square surrounding role behind the chosen subject (with significant physical force), he makes the subject appear neutral from its original context. The object becomes 'separated object', 'ambiguous subject' and 'meta-subject'.
The challenge of 'Photography-Act' is deep. Because 'Photography-Act' is not a real subject but a decontextualized and isolated variant from the subject, and is a real subject and nonsubject simultaneously.
Procedure (4) confirms the creation of identical chaos to the 'Photography-Act' itself by this separation and decontextualization.
Myoung Ho Lee's Tree series was featured as a 16-page portfolio in Foam magazine in July 2008. You can download a PDF of the essays and portfolio here. A limited edition of signed photographs from this series is now available for purchase online here.