JUNGJIN LEE - UNNAMED ROAD
JUNGJIN LEE - UNNAMED ROAD 2010 - 2012
It's Monday, rather than catch up with the weekends activity on the site we have lost ourselves in the captivating images from Jungjin Lee's "Unnamed Road" collection. Jungjin Lee’s beautiful imagery in Unnamed Road undergo a lengthy and somewhat repetitive process to achieve the final result. Each original negative is printed large in the darkroom on paper coated in silver nitrate emulsion, then scanned to produce a secondary digital file, which is reworked to extend and refine contrast unattainable in the original print.This reworked file is then converted into a secondary negative, from which a final print is made on mulberry paper.
The limited range of contrast available in the early phases of Lee’s printing process seems to produce an effect in which two-dimensional photographic texture strains to reach the surface of a paper full of subtle variations. The combined effect of these multiple layers as one leafs through the Leporello-bound pages of her book, is that of a picture floating briefly beneath the meniscus of some papery solution.
Lee’s pictures are not without a vocabulary for such violence, albeit they resist any temptation to inscribe in her way of a seeing a specific hierarchy of protagonists. They eschew the specificity of captions, as well as any discernible proxy form for identity groups or political ideologies. They do away almost comprehensively with overt pictorial allusions to identifiable parties in a generational war. This has the effect of heightening the symbolic weight of coiled barbed wire fencing, or the comparative distinctions between one form of cemetery and another. Lee’s photographs fall back upon a scale of time against which even present struggles will ultimately seem momentary and indecipherable. In her pictures, fragments of photographic time transform the present into a ghostly intimation of deep history. Her pictures evoke the twin figures of togetherness and emptiness with nuanced sensitivity, but they are measured in this beautiful work on the basis of the long view.