'Big Seoul 1971' Jun, Se Young (Curator, PYO gallery)
JaeWook Lee's works are based on a hidden reality and history, and a beautiful inner side of the city, which are shown as a twofold connection. He overlaps images of a misfortune within the glamour of the city and images of destroyed or unbeautiful elements to a present image of the city. The city, which is now much fancier and bigger than before, brings out paradoxical senses.
This exhibition 'Big Seoul 1971' was inspired by a poet Kwang Seop Kim, who wrote 'Big Seoul' in 1971. The works send out a message to recollect our Seoul. Now that Seoul is turning into a materialistic and visual place day by day after the rapid change from 1950 to 1960, the city has lost a true meaning of existence. JaeWook Lee produces film-stickers of ordinary sceneries with Han River as the center. A beautiful night view and wealthiness of the present city project memories and history of Seoul. These works are actually an extension of former series 'Beautiful'. The last series has shown truths that are on a knife edge by visualizing many incidents and informations.
Images of ladies doing laundry with laundry bats, a water carrier with water pitcher, children skating and sleighing on a surface of frozen river, and old sceneries of Han River are pinned on a highway road. These two different images wander voidly between the past and the present and they flutter lightly inside our memories like a thin transparent film. The refugees' lives with Han River as the center after the war became the center fo culture and life in 1950s. The new 'Seoul' that JaeWook Lee combinates with the others remind us of the fading memories and pain that are hidden under the glamourousness of the present city.