Theory of Young Wook Lee

Kwang-Soo Lee(Photo critic Busan University of Foreign Studies professor)

For long, long time, the concern of history is to interpret and record what happened in the past. That is when and who does what, why and how did, too. Witness was the basis of the most critical judgment. On the top, it was what the objective and scientific view to an architecture on.

By the way, in Europe since 1960s – in fact, in India, objectivity in history had been seriously in doubt. – as people faced questions that how it was the feasibility of identifying the past, history began to have been to have been interested in how to be interpreted the past, rather than a matter of fact itself.

Also, they began to think that of the objectivity doesn’t exist there, but the only thing that exists nothing but interpretation.

Photographer, Lee Young Wook’s critical mind is linked to this context. His big issue is the objectivity about the fact and a question of the myth. The question is to be making a confrontation on a single representation which clings to record left about a phenomenon and furthermore, it is a challenge about the myth of objectivity that sticks to even the picture. His question was raised since 20 years ago when starting a picture, attempted in several ways, and observed. And he recently started to move a step toward the capture of the issue in earnest.

I wonder whether he will come up with the answer whose issues was raised by him and I’m looking forward to. However, I just can’t wait, only eagerly wishing. Wait, like forgetting. Let’s wait, like being forgotten. That’s because waiting is just interest, waiting is just like being together.

Photographer, Lee Young Wook’s work is not so easy for general reader to understand. Because it is difficult to grasp properly questions raising which he throws to and through pictures. As the dragon king who lives in the ocean really can not understand at all the concept of land that heard from the rabbit, it may well be difficult to understand his pictures easily. Especially, for those who have no doubts about myth of record and objectivity which he threw. His picture is difficult for readers to watch, which will begin from the fact that why it is ordinary for readers to see his pictures. His picture is the kind of picture which everyone can take but everyone can’t read. Because people infected with dazzling image with light and color and they were used to meanings which have a particular phenomenon. In that familiarity, Lee Young Wook exhibits an inordinate picture and publishes books. So people wondering. The don’s see through the reason that Lee Young Wook wants to break the myth of “anyone.” The picture of Lee Young Wook is an argumentative meta file record about record. It is not the record of experience, addition by some interpretations, but the record of nature of world.

1 Escape from myth

Lee young Wook took out the topic in a first work released in 1995. He pulled the topic in own long picture history from why Freedom Park in Incheon has been that gallery of the heart of Incheon citizens or nation. Indeed, is there such the substance of Freedom Park that they hold out, conceptualize and spend. That is the work of throwing the question by the pictures-The statue of Mac Arthur, Statue of Liberty, doves, anti-communist, campaign, sign, a memorial to fallen heroes- to interpret history. And that is to criticize coldly the history which is taken in the history made by interpretation as an objective truth and so settled down as the symbol of citizen.

 

Lee, young-wook, Chayoo Park(Freedom Park),100 x150cm, archival pigment print, 1995.

It is a story-telling for writer to convey a message, with a criticism like cutting Mac Arthur’s head, or treating not to show a phrase of memorial to fallen heroes. And such a way as stuffing an abrupt massage parlor or dirty and not totally liberal dove house into. Why first name “Universal Park” was substituted for “Freedom Park” is naturally contacted with progressive activists in the camp of nationalistic pulling down the statue Mac Arthur. Although a photographer does away the statue Mac Arthur by a picture, that doesn’t seem to support the physical statue destruction that the nationalistic camp was trying. Because he is agonizing not by shouting freedom vs Anti-America through the Mac Arthur but about myth vs real.

The next work is “Touch between object and Silence” in 1998. If agonizing over myth started from previous works is an interpretation of macro-history, “Touch between object and silence” is an interpretation microscopic everyday affairs. In this regard, Lee Young Wook is a Roland Barthes Warrior. According to Roland Barthes, the word is formed by constant structure and the structure is made up a symbol which has a particular meaning people are dependent on that symbol, and regard a system or phenomenon as natural or reasonable or even right ting. Despite not universal meaning, but only myth, people sink in the myth and fight up against something is right. Furthermore, they fight to punish not right ting. They fight for lives. It is really foolish. It is a stupid that they only look up to one interpretation just like the Christian Bible.

 

Lee, young-wook, Contact of Object & Silence, 8x10inch, archival pigment print, 1998.

Lee Young Wook’s pictures shown in “Touch between Object and Silence” are all objections about the reality of images/ They wish to say that so called reality is to be meaningless. They ask why it was confirmed in universal and objective analysis, only looking at objects is just like his outcome which was formed in the structure of the myth by a certain person who see it. Still in many ordinary place in Incheon-People become sunken in one interpretation of that place is called the common but not the case for himself- He is trying to say that “Nothing is unchanged over multiple subjects to see” “What does one entity mean on earth, then no essence itself” “There are only my own world” “There are only traces that constantly floating in the plan to me.”

A pair of military boots which seem to be wrong for being arranged mismatched, discarded cigarette belts all burned down on briquettes and in front of it, a dead and scattered dove-Doves read as a sign of Peace by people. Rubber hose left a mass of tangles that is placed on the grass. A wooden horse placed on an empty amusement park. A mattress placed in front of cart truck. A woman posing to take a picture in the park and a man in sitting posture like a taking pictures or not. Any single scene isn’t showing an obvious meaning or very nearly, scenes that seemed to be interpreted as a symbol with enough meaning. He collected such scenes. Whoever, try to show a certain meaning about this scene. Because this is the world. Please don’t interpret the world by a well taken photograph, an image with good property and a story with clear reality.

 

Lee, young-wook, The Memory of Mirror, 8x10inch, archival pigment print(1, 2), 1998.

The work in 2012, and in 2014, are questions raising about the photos record and mythology taken place alignment. The photographer recorded his own workshop surroundings, from 1993 to 1998. After about 15 years, he saw the photo by chance and went back there. And then he ruminated the long hot topic holding himself again. In other words, it is impossible to memory or record specific time in the changed placeness. What was left as a picture is just a memory which wears a mask of record. Can it be free from collective identity made like nation, ethnic group or class. Because I saw, pressed the shutter and recorded. Truly, can my view be only mine? Indeed, can it be free from group? He wants to say it with this question, his picture was moved from ‘I’ to ‘city’. So this city is tempted to say about anything dreamed of. Has the dream been, on earth? What is the dream? Photographer Lee young Wook stuck to break myth about the limitation of record that human has in the changed place in every direction. That is just why he take pictures.

 

Lee, young-wook, Strange City Wandering,100x130cm, archival pigment print, 2014.

2 Dinial of Record and Documentary

Lee Young Wook as a photographer wrote about the existence and interpretation through and with pictures. If a long work from first time to now, is one thing, and are relevant to the spirit, he succeeds to a critical mind raising in that spirit, puts flesh on in 2011, rubs shiny and expends his thoughts. So-called, it can be replaced by development. If the presence the photographer watches doesn’t have absoluteness and it is open to interpretation now, is the joint of matter which makes the open space of interpretation. By working with Olympus half size camera, it ties different scenes which are accidently placed on either side for being taken in a frame and the work makes the margin of interpretation in contingency. So it is an image which is made on the basis of a chance factor, one of the biggest trait in pictures. The way to show in is a counter-argument that one meaning is fixed with one image one-on-one. It is a challenge for mostly documentary photography that accounts for primary purpose to deliver strong social message. Photographer is, through this work, trying to say constant creating of meanings. He only stopped one by a combination of leaning back in the coincidence the image of two, but will not put a special weight. The special meaning that each image has is just the meaning that was made with the mythology of objectivity, which is tied up in meaning of “usually”, “currently”, “mostly”, “generally”. That can be neither the only absolute one nor certain essence. One picture can’t have certain completed meaning. The photographer is just to try and make “an empty meaning” at these premises. Of course, it is not condition that is meaningless but that is too many to fix with one meaning.

 

Lee, young-wook, What’s the dream this city dreamt about, 8x10inch, archival pigment print, 2012(1993)

I apprehend the empty meaning of Lee Young Wook in connection with “empty fullness” of “Zen meditation” in Buddhism. Although “Empty fullness” is, if normal logic, an adjectival oxymoron, however, nothing could be further from the truth, seen from India’s cycle outlook. In the world of “The leaves have buds sprout”, Death is life, destruction is just creation, empty is fullness, and fullness is empty without anything. The boundaries made by the provisions of a ritual make sense, which based on the regularity and necessity. But if it disappears, quickly the space is empty, inside it, the meaning assigned in accordance with the provisions laid down in and out disappears and there are full of new unbounded spirit that bears everything. It could not see, recognize, and reproduce, so that is the force which makes all creation work in coincidence and inconstant. Photographer, Lee Young Wook works with half size and wants to say the world of coincidence and mutation which come up in broken borders with a pair of image met by chance. This thing called photos is, anyway, for machine to capture the existence of a object with light and then to read and interpret the image met by chance. So, to talk about an interpretation of the presence, the tool called a camera is, indeed, a good example to show adequateness.

 

Lee, young-wook, What’s the dream this city dreamt about, 8x10inch, archival pigment print, 2012(1993)

Another way, Lee Young Wook’ developing about “the matter of existence and interpretation” is about recording.

It is <Bukgando> work in 2007.

It is a record but removing record.

The record is that of new dimension to break an existing time and context.

He is trying to deny referential meaning, where some concept, any form, is placed in a position with a particular concept and furthermore, accepted as objective.

A certain object he met in <Bukgando> is the nature about a root, which history or social structure can revert to.

The meaning about an object that we have in the framework of “objective” is to be made by experiencing an awareness which is cut through external factor, that is, social conventions, or historical generalization, being verified, and being strengtened. So, inside it, the twisted things are set by several complex prejudice or bias which cling to, according to each case.

Photographer Lee Young Wook judged the awareness of <Bukgando> which he encounter first time himself as being made in the myth of “generalization” and so he was trying to discontinue. He only met the object in the field, and tried to record a certain natural phenomenon he saw or encountered the object which is not reverted to. He thinks that to stray from the value marred by symbol and made by it can make a certain new meaning.

 

Lee, young-wook, Bukgando, 90x100cm, archival pigment print, 2007.

So, photographer Lee Young Wook excluds the meaning structure of certain history which naturally come to mind or real when we recall <Bukgando>, selects somewhat unfamiliar image escapes from the myth of record.

That is what he wants to say.

What he records is about definitely scenes that exist in there, sapapnese colonial ere, father’s the fathev’s lost country scenery and Manchurra plain as it is free, for its meaina that it must survive for being bound to take back country scenery.

In the process, photographer stares at the object and can escape from pieces of integrated sense through it.

There is no history, no society, only a phenomenon suspended.

How do you think about how to record the way.

He is talking about made myth of objectivity and another myth of picture (as scientific characteristic) coiled in it.

The proture theory of “pictures with pictures” is indeed a heavy work.

While he was doing this work from 1995, he went to china in 2001. And there, despite an extension work of breaking myth, verbal style is quite different from the existing way in the work <a pleasant place of exile> and <photo diary>. He means that in a totally new way want to say the same subject.

 

Lee, young-wook, Uncertainty travel, 60x90cm, archival pigment print, 2008.

This work published the picture tied with the text. He says that he arranged two pieces with image and text together by borrowing a picture diary of childhood type because he wanted to overturn the diary that was belived to be insidious frank type of confession. Photo plays a role of scientific evidence, diary is confession that do not see anyone else or try to show to anyone. That is provocation smashing sholder joint with a bamboo gate to audience who belives non-truth just like generalized truth of confession. By the way, he eliminated the text in <uncertain journey> so then, another separate work that was built photographer shows his intention which he eliminated even the text and broke the dailiness of myth represented by above-attempted picture and dairy, only picture.

Although he is breaking the myth and finding new roads, with two genres, suddenly he stopped the pincer movement of breaking myth and seemed to fight breaking myth with completely new way when viewed from a journey of a long battle, it is a genius or distracted. This context should be the same three, when viewed through correlation of images and text, properties with the image removed, and an ordinary object and target choice but <uncertain journey> is understandable to expand realm to development tree, going through introduction, and development one and development two and not passing turn.

1  2

Lee, young-wook, Digital Yain Bian diary-Pleasant banishment, 5x7inch, archival pigment print(1, 2), 2007.

Lee, young-wook, The house, 60x90cm, Pigment inkjet print, 2015.

3. The archive, another a myth

Photographer, Lee Young Wook’ myth breaking work of picture itself with picture greets to “turn” in <The house>2015. In the <The house>, a house doesn’t require a special context of understanding or modification through technique. In itself it takes a picture the object which show last city’s past as most universal and general. Only that image makes the object tell itself, but is made not to represent, otherwise special form. For everyone who regards the city as a living organism, or one who try to clear the hole to breathe a city, without requiring any special explanation and relief, if showing them a few pictures, this is such an image that seems to communicate each other like flowing as a thrill. Compared to the previous, it was enervated and greasy. It is fresh. If anyone see that image he is going to do : How could it be such a house.

 

Lee, young-wook, The house, 60x90cm, Pigment inkjet print, 2015.

So, showing the subtle house he realizes as it is, the house shouwing the subtle house as it is no more dramatic them those documentaries. Throught the way of archaive, to show as it is, photographer Lee Young Wook converted to way of breaking myth that is objective, which we’ve been doing way so far. Until now, he stops throwing a logic manifests and just passes a mirror to see himself. The impression of work comes from this shift of idea. In the result, Lee Young Wook denies so-called documentary pictures which karry the subjects gaze and social meaning interpreted by it but he doesn’t think that he denies documentary pictures themselves and makes artistic photograph what he escapes from records of pictures is not what he doesn’t record but what he doesn’t record the record judging and defining. This work is literature, that is just what they read looked like this as this work is soft and controled, giving a blank space for reader to read what Lee Young Wook has to do is not a certain absolute record. The image as the record can’t be made, which carries completely and absolutely dry and essential absolute truth.

So, what he is trying to do is not to take rainbow, but to be on his way to take a rainbow. He starts off on not possible road but believing by being accompanied by a new methodology. The new methodology is just ‘archive’. It is to record a certain place, but to exclude the view as far as possible, which the subject watching the object can haveplay object to be able to speak for themselves, not to interfere all the equipments take a dry picture, expanding amount with the atmost effort. As Roland Barthes says, he is trying to make the picture as the only visual media, which talking humans can assume the only independent position in the relation. That’s a strong denial of meaning that pictures have and art.

Lee, young-wook, The house, 60x90cm, Pigment inkjet print, 2015.

The archieve of new methodology which Lee Young Wook chooses started after coming back from china, about six years ago from now. If exactly like he says, to record with a photo on a specific place, and make the object speak for itself, it requires huge time, and the amount is huge, too. You have to see the object outside it and inside it. You should try during the daytime, or during the nighttime. Now although you saw the house outside from now on, go inside and should see, too, wall is house, sofa is house. The house already exists in liquid. The cat riding on the wall is house all the existence of an object is all house. The work to take a picture and show is the methodology of archive. So his archive work is extremely vast. To work is no end. After finishing a work and going to exhibition itself converts to another work. It will be an independent work. Another work accompanied by action and reality. But can the adon disaply be really the reality? Do photographer Lee Young Wook, throw the question through the work on the photography?

Now photographer Lee Young Wook gets out of the downtown area and heads toward farming area and fishing area. The work to break objective or general myth toace a common phrase is stil the farm image we have and the island image are not friendly through his camera not beautiful and not surrounding with Mother and hometown but will seem to be dry as it is. Even if it is not possible, it is introspection or discussion thrown to stereotype and image constantly. It makes crack in myth of the record the public have and raises critical mind to create a conflict inside.

Lee, young- wook, Island project, 100x130cm, archival pigment print, 2015.

It is not social science to pull out result but humanities discussion to raise matter. It is awful and keen challenge to the made myth making record as denying the record nature, arising art as denying art. How should we evaluate something like this? being out of subjectivity pursuing being out of objectivity. Anarchism about existence and record? Another myth build up, demolishing myth?

In front of photographer Lee Young Wook, all the made myth, which is sticken to picture, is collapsing. Hal(喝)!

 

Island project, 100x130cm, archival pigment print, 2015.

 

 

 

obtus 텅 빈 의미

이 영 욱

Lee, young-wook, Uncertainty travel, 60x90cm, archival pigment print, 2008.
2016. 03. 21 – 30.
이영욱論
사진으로 사진에 대한 신화를 깨다.

이광수 (사진비평가. 부산외국어대 교수)

아주, 아주 오랫동안, 역사학의 관심은 과거에 어떤 일이 일어났는지를 기록하고 해석하는 것이었다. 언제 누가 무슨 일을 했고, 왜 그리고 어떻게 했느냐, 에 관한 관심이었다. 목격이 가장 중요한 판단의 근거가 되었고, 그 위에서 객관적이고 과학적인 어떤 구조를 세우고자 하는 것이었다. 그런데 1960년대 이후 유럽에서 – 사실, 인도에서는 이보다 수 천 년 전에 그 역사의 객관성이라는 것을 심각하게 의심하였다 – 그 과거를 규명하는 것이 과연 가능할까, 라는 의문에 봉착하면서 역사학은 사실 그 자체보다는 사람들이 과거를 어떻게 해석하는가에 대해 관심을 갖기 시작했다. 그 안에 객관이란 것은 존재하지 않고, 존재하는 것은 오로지 해석일 뿐이다, 라고 생각하기 시작했다.

사진가 이영욱의 문제의식은 이런 맥락과 연결된다. 그에게 가장 큰 화두는 사실에 대한 ‘객관성’이다. 신화에 대한 의문이다. 그 의문은 어떤 현상에 대해 남긴 기록이라는 것에 달라붙은 단일적 대표성에 대해 건 시비이고, 나아가 사진에게까지 달라붙은 그 객관성이라는 신화에 대한 도전이다. 사진의 기록성이란 도대체 무엇이라는 말인가? 그의 질문은 20년 전, 처음 사진을 시작할 때부터 제기되었는데, 그 동안 여러 방편으로 시도되었고, 다양하게 관찰되었다. 그리고 최근 들어 본격적으로 그 문제의 갈무리를 향해 발걸음을 옮기기 시작했다. 그가 제기한 문제에 그가 어떤 답변을 내놓을 것인지, 기다려진다. 그렇지만, 목을 빼고 기다릴 수는 없다. 잊은 듯 기다리고, 잊힌 듯 기다리자. 기다림은 다름 아닌 관심이고, 기다림은 다름 아닌 함께 함이기 때문이다.

사진가 이영욱의 작품을 일반 독자가 이해하기란 그리 쉽지 않다. 그가 던진 사진에 대한 사진을 통한 문제 제기를 제대로 파악하기가 어려워서 그렇다. 바닷물 속에서 사는 용왕이 토끼에게 들은 땅이라는 개념을 전혀 이해할 수 없듯이 그가 던진 기록과 객관이라는 신화에 대해 평소에 의문을 갖지 아니 해 본 사람들은 그의 사진을 쉽게 이해하기가 어려울 수밖에 없다. 그의 사진이 어려운 것은 독자들이 보기에 왜 이런 평범한 사진이냐는 사실에서부터 먼저 시작될 것이다. 그의 사진은 누구나가 다 찍을 수 있는 사진이다. 그런데 누구나가 다 읽을 수 있는 사진은 아니다. 사람들이 빛과 색으로 만든 현란한 이미지에 물들어 있고 그것이 가진 특정 현상에 부여된 의미에 익숙해 있기 때문에 그렇다. 그 익숙함 속에서 이영욱이 전혀 생뚱맞은 사진을 내걸어 전시를 하고, 책을 내니, 사람들은 의아해 할 뿐이다. 그들은 이영욱이 그 ‘누구나’의 신화를 깨고자 하기 때문임을 간파하지 못한다. 이영욱의 사진은 기록에 대해 시비를 거는 메타 기록이다. 경험에 대한 기록이 아니고, 해석에 의한 기록이 아닌, 세계 본질에 대한 기록이다.

 

1. 신화로부터 탈주

이영욱은 1995년 발표한 첫 작업 〈자유공원〉에서 그 화두를 꺼냈다. 그는 인천의 ‘자유공원’이 왜 인천 시민의 마음의 갤러리 혹은 관념이 되었는지에 대한 의문에서 자신의 긴 사진사의 화두를 꺼냈다. 과연 그들이 품고, 개념화하고, 소비하는 그런 ‘자유공원’이라는 실체는 존재하는 것일까? 이 의문을 사진으로 던지는 작업이다. 맥아더 동상, 자유의 여신상, 비둘기, 경찰서, 반공 캠페인 표지판, 충혼탑, 한미수교100주년기념탑 등 역사를 해석하는 어떤 권력의 이데올로기에 의해 규정되는 그리고 그 해석되어 만들어진 하나의 역사를 객관의 진리로 받아들여 시민들의 표상으로 자리 잡힌 역사에 대해 냉정하게 비판하는 것이다. 맥아더의 목을 쳐버리거나, 충혼탑의 글귀를 보이지 않도록 처리해버린다거나 하는 비판과 느닷없는 안마시술소나 지저분하고 전혀 ‘자유’스럽지 않은 비둘기 집을 집어 넣어버리는 방식으로 작가가 말하고자 하는 메시지를 전하는 스토리텔링이다.

ⓒ이영욱, 자유공원, 23.5x105cm, archival pigment print, 1995.
ⓒ이영욱, 자유공원, 23.5x105cm, archival pigment print, 1995.

ⓒ이영욱, 자유공원, 23.5x105cm, archival pigment print, 1995.
처음 이 공원의 이름이 ‘만국공원’이었다가 왜 ‘자유’공원으로 바뀌었는지에 대한 의문은 왜 90년대 이후 민족자주 진영의 진보운동가들이 맥아도 동상을 철거하려 했는지, 와도 자연스럽게 연결된다. 사진가가 사진으로 맥아도 동상을 죽여 버렸지만, 그것이 그렇다고 민족자주 진영이 시도한 물리적 동상 파괴에 대한 옹호로 보이지는 않는다. 그는 맥아더를 통해 자유냐 반미냐를 외치는 것이 아니라 신화냐 실재냐를 고민하기 때문이다.

다음 작업은 1998년의 〈대상과 침묵의 접촉〉이다. 전작에서 출발한 신화에 대한 고민이 거시사의 해석이었다면, 〈대상과 침묵의 접촉〉은 미시적 일상사의 해석이다. 이 점에서 이영욱은 롤랑 바르트의 전사다. 바르트에 의하면 세상은 일정한 구조에 의해 형성되고, 그 구조는 특정 의미를 지니는 기호로 이루어져 있는데, 사람들은 그 기호에 종속되어 그 안에서 발생한 어떤 제도나 현상을 마치 자연스럽거나 합리적이거나 심지어는 옳은 것이라고 생각한다. 신화일 뿐 보편적인 것이라 할 수 없음에도 사람들은 그 신화에 함몰되어 어떤 것이 옳은지, 싸운다. 나아가 그 옳지 않은 것은 처단해야 한다고 싸운다. 목숨 걸고 싸운다. 어리석은 일이다. 하나의 해석만을 기독교 성경 바이블처럼 받드는 어리석은 일이다.

이영욱이 〈대상과 침묵의 접촉〉에서 보여주는 사진들은 모두 이미지의 실재에 대한 반론이다. 흔히 말하는 리얼리티라는 것은 의미 없는 것임을 말하고자 하는 것이다. 대상을 바라보는 것이란 다름 아닌 그것을 바라보는 특정인의 신화 구조 속에서 형성된 그 사람의 관념의 소산일 뿐인데 왜 그것이 보편적이고 객관적인 해석으로 굳혀져야 하느냐고 묻는 것이다. 사진가는 여전히 인천의 여러 보통의 장소에서 – 사람들은 하나의 해석에 함몰이 되어 그런 곳을 그냥 흔한 곳이라 부르지만 자신에게는 그렇지 않은 – 보는 여러 대상들을 통해 변하지 않는 것은 없다, 본질이라는 것 자체가 없는데, 하나의 실재라는 것이 무슨 의미가 있겠는가, 오로지 나만의 세계만 있을 뿐이다, 나에게는 그 안에서 끊임없이 부유하는 흔적들만 있을 뿐이다, 를 말하고자 한다.
ⓒ이영욱, 대상과 침묵의 첩촉, 8x10inch, archival pigment print(1, 2, 3), 1998.
짝짝이로 놓여 져 뭔가 잘못된 된 것 같이 보이는 군화 한 켤레, 다 타버린 연탄 위에 버려진 담배꽁초와 그 앞에 죽어 널 부러진 비둘기 – 비둘기는 평화의 상징으로 사람들에게 읽힌다. – 한 마리, 풀밭에 놓인 뒤엉켜 버린 고무 호스, 텅 빈 유원지에 놓인 목마, 트럭 짐 차 앞에 놓인 매트리스, 공원에서 사진 찍는 포즈의 여성과 사진 찍는 것 같으면서 아닌 것 같은 앉은 자세의 남성 등 그 어떤 장면 하나 하나가 명확한 의미를 보여주는 것도 없거나 자칫 식상한 의미를 부여하는 상징으로 해석될 듯한 장면들을 모아 놓았다.
ⓒ이영욱, 대상과 침묵의 첩촉, 8x10inch, archival pigment print(1, 2, 3), 1998.

누구든 이 장면에 대해 확실한 의미를 보여줘 봐라, 라는 것이다. 세상이 이러 하니 제발 잘 찍은 사진 한 장, 물성이 좋은 이미지, 리얼리티가 분명한 이야기로 세상을 해석하지 말라는 것이다.
ⓒ이영욱, 이상한 도시산책- 중앙동, 100x150cm, archival pigment print, 2014.
ⓒ이영욱, 이상한 도시산책- 용현동, 100x130cm, archival pigment print, 2014.
2012년의 작업, 〈BLOW_UP. 이 도시가 꿈꾸었던 그 꿈은 무엇인가.〉와 2014년 작업 〈이상한 도시 산책〉도 이와 동일한 선상에서 이루어진 사진의 기록과 신화에 대한 문제 제기다. 사진가는 1993년부터 1998년까지 자신의 작업실 주변을 기록하였는데, 15년 정도가 지난 후 우연히 그 사진들을 보다가, 그곳을 다시 찾아가 보았다. 그리고서는 변해버린 장소성 안에서 특정의 시간을 기억하거나 기록하는 것은 가능하지 않다는 스스로가 붙들고 있는 긴 화두를 다시 한 번 되새김질 하였다. 사진으로 남긴 것은 기록이라는 탈을 쓴 하나의 기억일 뿐이지 않는가, 그것이 국가, 민족, 계급과 같은 만들어진 집단 정체성으로부터 자유로울 수 있는가, 내가 보았고 내가 셔터를 눌러서 기록했다고 해서 그 ‘나’의 시각은 ‘나’만의 것이라고 할 수 있겠는가, 집단으로부터 자유로울 수 있겠는가 말이다, 를 말하고 싶어졌다. 그러한 의문으로 그의 사진은 ‘나’에게서 도시에게로 옮겼다. 그래서 이 도시가 꿈꾸었던 것에 대해 말하고 싶어진 것이다. 그 꿈이란 도대체 있었던 것일까? 그 꿈은 무엇인가? 사진가 이영욱은 전후 맥락이 변해버린 장소에서 인간이 갖는 기록의 한계에 대한 신화 깨기 작업을 끈질기게 물고 늘어졌다. 그가 사진하는 이유는 오로지 여기에 있다.
ⓒ이영욱, BLOW_UP. 이 도시가 꿈꾸었던 그 꿈은 무엇인가, 8x10inch, archival pigment print(1, 2), 2012(1993-98촬영)
2. 기록과 다큐멘터리의 부정

사진가 이영욱은 〈자유공원〉과 〈접촉〉을 통해 ‘존재와 해석’에 관해 사진으로 글을 썼다. 처음 시작할 때부터 지금까지의 긴 작업을 하나의 글이라 치면 〈자유공원〉과 〈접촉〉은 기(起)에 해당한다. 그 기에서 제기한 문제의식을 이어받아 2001년 〈거울의 기억〉에서는 살을 붙이고, 윤기가 나게 문지르고, 생각을 확장하였다. 이른바 승(承)이라 할 수 있다. 사진가가 보는 존재란 절대성이 없고, 그것은 해석에 대해 열려 있을 뿐이라면, 이제 〈거울의 기억〉은 그 해석의 열린 공간을 만들어보는 문제의 이음새다. 올림푸스 하프 사이즈 카메라로 작업하여 한 프레임 안에 찍혀 좌우에 우연히 배치된 서로 다른 장면들을 하나로 묶어 우연성 안에서 해석의 여백을 만든 작업이다. 사진의 가장 큰 특질 중의 하나인 우연의 요소를 기반으로 하여 만든 이미지다.〈거울의 기억〉의 보여주기 방식은 하나의 의미와 하나의 이미지를 일대일로 고정시키는 것에 대한 반론이다. 사회적 메시지를 강렬하게 전달하는 것을 일차적 목표로 삼는 대개의 다큐멘터리 사진에 대한 도전이다. 사진가가 이 작업을 통해 말하고자 하는 것은 끊임없는 의미의 생성이다. 그는 그 두 개의 이미지를 우연에 기대어 하나의 조합으로 세워 둘 뿐, 다른 특별한 의미를 두지 않는다. 그 각각의 이미지가 갖는 특정한 의미는 보통, 통상적으로, 대개, 일반적으로, 라는 의미로 묶인 객관성의 신화로 만들어놓은 의미일 뿐 그것이 절대적인 유일자라든가, 어떤 본질일 수는 없다. 하나의 사진이 어떤 완결된 의미를 가질 수 없다는 것이다. 사진가는 바로 이 전제에서 ‘텅 빈 의미’를 만들어 보겠다는 것이다. 물론 ‘텅 빈 의미’란 아무 의미가 없는 상태가 아니라, 의미가 너무 많아서 하나의 의미로 고정할 수 없는 것을 말한다.
ⓒ이영욱, 거울의 기억, 8x10inch, archival pigment print(1, 2), 2001.

난, 이영욱의 ‘텅 빈 의미’를 불교의 선(禪)에서 말하는 ‘텅 빈 충만’과 연계하여 이해한다. ‘텅 빈 충만’은 보통의 논리로 라면 형용 모순이지만, 인도의 윤회 세계관에서 보면 전혀 그렇지 않다. 낙엽이 져야 새 싹이 돋는다는 그 세계에서 죽음은 삶이고, 파괴는 곧 창조다. 비어 있음은 꽉 차 있음이고, 꽉 차 있다는 것은 아무 것도 없이 비어 있다는 것이다. 어떤 의식의 규정에 의해 만들어진 경계는 규칙성과 필연을 바탕으로 의미를 만들지만, 그 경계가 사라지면 순식간에 그 공간은 비게 되고 그 안에는 안과 밖의 규정에 따라 부여된 의미가 사라지면서 모든 것을 잉태하는 광대무변의 새로운 기(氣)가 꽉 차게 된다. 그것은 볼 수도, 인식 할 수도, 재현할 수도 없으니 우연과 변전(變轉) 속에서 만물을 작용케 하는 힘이다. 그 무너진 경계 안에서 생기는 우연과 변전의 세계를 사진가 이영욱은 하프 사이즈로 작업하여 우연히 만난 한 짝의 이미지로 말하고자 한다. 사진이라는 게 어차피 카메라라는 기계가 대상이라는 존재를 빛으로 포착하여 우연히 만들어진 이미지를 읽고 해석하는 것이다 보니, 그 존재에 대한 해석의 신화를 논하기에 카메라라는 도구가 참으로 적당함을 보여주는 좋은 예다.
ⓒ이영욱, 북간도, 90x100cm, archival pigment print(1, 2), 2007.
이영욱이 ‘존재와 해석’의 문제를 또 다른 방식으로 승(承)한 것은 기록에 대한 것이다. 2007년의 〈북간도〉 작업에서다. 그것은 기록이지만 탈(脫)기록이다. 그 기록이란 기존의 시간과 맥락을 탈피하려는 새로운 차원의 기록이다. 그는 어떠한 형태이든 어떤 개념이 사회적 맥락 속에서 특정한 개념으로 위치 지워지고 그것이 나아가 객관적이라고 널리 받아들여진 그 지시적 의미를 부인하고자 한 것이다. 그가 북간도에서 만난 어떤 대상은 역사나 사회 구조가 환원할 수 없는 어떤 근원에 관한 본질체다. 우리가 ‘객관적’이라는 하나의 만들어진 개념의 틀 안에서 갖는 어떤 대상에 대한 의미는 외부적 인자 즉 사회적 통념이나 역사적 일반화를 통해 재단된 어떤 인식을 경험함으로써 확인되고 강화되어 만들어진 것이다. 그래서 그 안에는 각자의 상황에 따라 달라붙은 여러 가지의 복잡한 선입견이나 편견 등에 의해서 뒤틀린 것들이 자리를 잡고 있다. 사진가 이영욱은 자신이 처음 접한 ‘북간도’에 대한 인식을 ‘일반화’라는 신화 속에서 만들어진 것으로 판단하였고 그래서 그것을 중지시키고자 하였다. 그는 오로지 현장에서 그 대상을 만났고 그 때 보았던 혹은 우연히 마주쳤던 그 대상의 환원되지 않은 어떤 본질적 현상을 기록하고자 했다. 상징으로 점철된 그리고 그것이 만들어낸 가치로부터 벗어나야 뭔가 새로운 어떤 의미를 만들어낼 수 있다고 본 것이다. 그래서 사진가 이영욱은 우리가 흔히 ‘북간도’라 하면 자연스럽게 상기되거나 읽혀지는 특정 역사의 의미 구조를 과감히 배제하고, 객관이라는 입장에서 볼 때는 좀 낮 설 수도 있는 이미지를 선택하여 기록의 신화로부터 탈주하고자 함을 말하고자 한다. 분명히 그 곳에 존재하고 있던 풍경들, 일제 강점기나 아버지의 아버지들의 잃어버린 조국 강산, 반드시 되찾아야 할 조국 강산을 위해 살아남아야 할 그 땅의 의미로부터 벗어나 그냥 있는 그대로의 만주 평원을 기록한 것이다. 그 과정에서 사진가는 대상을 응시하고 그것을 통해 경험으로 집적된 의미 덩어리로부터 자유로이 탈주할 수 있게 되는 것이다. 그 안에는 역사도 없고, 사회도 없다. 오로지 중지된 현상만 있을 뿐이다. 당신은 이런 방식의 기록을 어떻게 생각하는가?

이영욱은 객관성이라는 만들어진 신화에 대해 그리고 그 신화 안에 똬리를 튼 ‘사진(의 과학성)’이라는 또 다른 신화에 대해 사진으로 말을 하는 중이다. 사진으로 사진을 말하는 사진론, 참으로 무거운 작업이다. 그는 이 작업을 1995년부터 해오던 중 2001년에 중국을 갔다. 그리고 그는 그곳에서 신화 깨기 작업의 연장선상에 있지만, 말하기의 방식은 기존의 것과는 사뭇 달리 〈즐거운 유배지〉와 〈사진일기〉 작업을 하였다. 동일한 주제를 전혀 다른 방식으로 말하고자 한 것이다. 이 작품은 낮은 화질(350dfi)의 이미지로 5x7inch 크기의 사진이 텍스트와 묶여 함께 발표되었다.

ⓒ이영욱, 사진일기 – 즐거운 유배지, 5x7inch, archival pigment print(1, 2), 2007.

이영욱은 이 두 작업을, “어릴 적 그림일기 형식을 차용해서 이미지와 텍스트를 함께 배치 한 것인데, 이는 이미지와 텍스트의 만남을 통해서 내면적인 솔직한 고백의 형식이라 믿는 일기를 뒤집고 싶었기 때문이다.”라고 말한다. 사진은 과학적인 증거의 역할을 하고, 일기는 아무도 보지 않(거나 아무에게도 보여주지 않으려)는 자기 고백이라는 일반화 된 진실 같은 비(非)진실을 믿는 관객에게 죽비로 그 어깨 죽지를 후리치는 도발이다. 그런데 〈불확실한 여행〉에서는 그 텍스트를 제거해버렸다. 그러다보니 다른 하나의 독립된 작품이 만들어졌다. 작가는 텍스트마저 제거하여 앞에서 시도한 사진과 일기로 표상되는 일상성의 신화 깨기를 사진으로만 보여준다고 하는 의도인 것으로 읽힌다. 신화를 깨고 나가면서 새로운 길을 찾아보는 것이겠으나, 두 장르를 가지고 와 양 방향에서 신화 깨기의 협공을 벌인 싸움을 느닷없이 중지하고 전혀 새로운 방식의 신화 깨기 싸움을 벌이는 것 같아 긴 싸움의 여정에서 볼 때는 천재적이거나 산만하다. 이 셋은 이미지와 텍스트와의 상관관계, 이미지에서 물성(物性)의 제거, 평범한 오브제와 대상의 선택 등을 통해서 볼 때 결국 같은 맥락이긴 하지만, 〈불확실한 여행〉은 기(起)를 거치고 승(承)1과 승(承)2를 거쳐 전(轉)으로 넘어 가지 않고, 승(承)3으로 영역을 넓힌 것으로 이해된다.
ⓒ이영욱, 불확실한 여행, 60x90cm, archival pigment print(1, 2), 2008.

3. 아카이브라는 또 다른 신화
사진가 이영욱이 사진으로 하는 사진에 대한 신화 깨기 작업은 2015년의 〈집이다〉에서 전(轉)을 맞는다. 〈집이다〉에서 ‘집’은 특별한 맥락의 이해나 기교를 통한 수식 등을 필요로 하지 않은 그 자체로서 지난 도시의 과거를 보여주는 대상을 가장 보편적이고 객관적인 이미지로 찍는다. 그 대상으로 하여금 스스로 말하게 해줄 뿐, 달리 특별한 양식의 재현을 하지 않으면서 만든 이미지다. 도시를 마치 살아 있는 유기체 같이 보는 사람들에게, 도시에게 숨 쉴 수 있는 숨구멍을 터주자고 외치는 사람들에게, 다른 특별한 설명이나 구호가 필요 없이 이 사진들 몇 장만 보여주면 서로 간에 전율이 흐르듯 소통하게 해줄 것 같은 그런 이미지들이다. 전작들에 비해 힘이 빠지고 기름기가 빠졌다. 상큼하다. 누구든 저 이미지를 보면, 어쩌다 저런 집이 생겼을까! 라고 생각을 할 것이다. 그래서 그 묘한 그 집을 있는 그대로 보여주는 것보다 더 극적인 다큐멘터리는 없음을 알아차린 것이다.
ⓒ이영욱, 집이다. 인천-화평동, 60x90cm, Pigment inkjet print, 2015.
ⓒ이영욱, 집이다. 인천-북성동, 60x90cm, Pigment inkjet print, 2015.

있는 그대로 보여주는 아카이브의 방식을 통해 사진가 이영욱은 지금까지 해온 객관이라는 신화를 깨는 방식을 전환시켰다. 지금까진 논리적 격문을 던지는 것을 멈추고, 그저 그냥 거울 하나 꺼내 제 모습 보도록 넌지시 건네줄 뿐이다. 작품의 감동은 이러한 발상의 전환에서 온다. 결국 사진가 이영욱은 대상을 바라보는 주체의 시선과 그것으로 해석된 사회적 의미를 강하게 담은 소위 다큐멘터리 사진임을 부인하는 것이지, 다큐멘터리 사진 그 자체를 부인하고 예술 사진을 하려는 것이 아니다. 그가 사진의 기록성으로부터 벗어나고자 함은 기록하지 않으려는 것이 아니고 특정 시각(들)로 판단하고 규정하는 기록을 하지 않으려는 것이다. 이 작업을 문학적이다, 고 사람들이 읽은 것은 바로 이렇듯 이 작업이 부드럽고, 절제적이며, 독자가 읽을 수 있는 빈 공간을 주기 때문이다.

이영욱이 하고자 하는 것은 어떤 절대적 기록이 아니다. 그 어떤 시각도 다 배제한 완전히 절대적으로 무미건조한 본질적 절대성을 지닌 기록으로서의 이미지란 만들 수 없다. 그래서 그가 하고자 하는 것은 무지개를 잡으려는 것이 아니고, 그 무지개를 잡으러 길을 떠나는 것이다. 그는 그 가능하지 않은 길을 새로운 방법론을 대동하여 가능하다고 믿고 길을 나선다. 그 새로운 방법론이란 바로 ‘아카이브’다. 일정한 장소를 기록하되, 대상을 보는 주체가 가질 수 있는 시각을 가능한 한 최대한 배제하고, 대상이 스스로 말을 하도록, 모든 장치를 방해하지 않도록 무미건조한 사진을 찍되, 그 분량을 최대한 늘린다. 롤랑 바르트가 말하는 인간이 관계적으로 유일하게 독립적 위치를 차지할 수 있는 유일한 시각 매체로서의 사진을 만들어보고자 하는 것이다. 사진이 갖는 의미와 예술에 대한 강한 부인이다. 이영욱이 택한 이 아카이브라는 새로운 방법론을 중국에서 돌아온 후, 지금으로부터 약 6년 전에 시작했다.

ⓒ이영욱, 아카이브 – 섬프로젝트 – 이작도, 100x130cm, Pigment inkjet print, 2015.
ⓒ이영욱, 아카이브 – 중구프로젝트 – 송학동, 100x130cm, Pigment inkjet print, 2015.
그가 말한 바대로 한다면 특정 장소에 대해 사진으로 기록하되, 대상 스스로 말하도록 하려면 엄청난 시간이 필요하고, 그 분량도 엄청나야 한다. 그 대상을 밖에서도 보고, 안에서도 봐야 한다. 낮에도 봐야 하고, 밤에도 봐야 한다. 지금은 집을 바깥에서 봤지만, 이제는 안으로 들어가서 보기도 해야 한다. 벽도 집이고, 소파도 집이며, 담 벽을 타는 고양이도 집이다. 존재하는 모든 오브제들은 다 집이고, 시간 안에 있는 모든 존재는 다 집이다. ‘집’은 이미 그 시간 그 장소에서는 액체로써 존재한다. 그것을 있는 그대로 찍어 보여주는 작업이 아카이브 방법론이다. 그래서 그의 아카이브 작업은 방대하기 이를 데 없다. 작업이라는 게 한도 끝도 없다. 작업을 마치고, 전시장으로 가면 전시 자체가 또 하나의 작업으로 전환된다. 독립적 작품이 될 것이다. 행위와 실재가 대동되는 또 하나의 작품, 그 안에서 전시되는 행위는 과연 행위이고, 실재는 과연 실재일까? 사진가 이영욱은 작품을 통해 이 질문까지도 사진계에 던지는 것일까?

ⓒ이영욱, 농촌, 60x80cm, Pigment inkjet print, 2015. ⓒ이영욱, 농촌, 60x90cm, Pigment inkjet print, 2015.

사진가 이영욱은 이제 도시에서 벗어나, 농촌과 어촌을 향한다. 객관이나 일반의 신화를 깨려는 작업은 여전하다. 흔히 말하는 ‘우리’가 갖는 농촌의 모습, 섬의 이미지는 이제 이영욱의 카메라를 통해 정겹지도 않고, 아름답지도 않고, 어머니와 고향으로 둘러싸여 있지도 않은 그냥 있는 그대로의 무미건조한 모습으로 보여 질 것이다. 그것이 설사 가능하지 않다더라도 고정 관념과 이미지를 향해 쉴 새 없이 던지는 성찰과 담론이다. 그것은 뭇 사람들이 갖는 기록이라는 신화에 대해 균열을 내서 그 안에서 갈등을 일으키고자 하는 문제의식을 던지는 것이다. 결과를 뽑아내려는 사회과학이 아닌 문제를 제기하는 인문학 담론이다. 만들어진 신화에 대한 지독하고 치열한 도전이다. 기록성을 부인하면서 만들어가는 기록, 예술을 부인하면서 생기는 예술, 우리는 이를 뭐라고 평가해야 할까? 탈객관을 지향하는 탈주관? 존재와 기록에 대한 아나키즘? 신화를 무너뜨리며 쌓은 또 다른 신화? 사진가 이영욱 앞에서 사진에 달라붙은 모든 만들어진 신화는 지금, 무너진다. 할(喝) !
Theory of Young Wook Lee
Kwang-Soo Lee(Photo critic Busan University of Foreign Studies professor)

For long, long time, the concern of history is to interpret and record what happened in the past. That is when and who does what, why and how did, too. Witness was the basis of the most critical judgment. On the top, it was what the objective and scientific view to an architecture on.
By the way, in Europe since 1960s – in fact, in India, objectivity in history had been seriously in doubt. – as people faced questions that how it was the feasibility of identifying the past, history began to have been to have been interested in how to be interpreted the past, rather than a matter of fact itself.
Also, they began to think that of the objectivity doesn’t exist there, but the only thing that exists nothing but interpretation.

Photographer, Lee Young Wook’s critical mind is linked to this context. His big issue is the objectivity about the fact and a question of the myth. The question is to be making a confrontation on a single representation which clings to record left about a phenomenon and furthermore, it is a challenge about the myth of objectivity that sticks to even the picture. His question was raised since 20 years ago when starting a picture, attempted in several ways, and observed. And he recently started to move a step toward the capture of the issue in earnest.
I wonder whether he will come up with the answer whose issues was raised by him and I’m looking forward to. However, I just can’t wait, only eagerly wishing. Wait, like forgetting. Let’s wait, like being forgotten. That’s because waiting is just interest, waiting is just like being together.

Photographer, Lee Young Wook’s work is not so easy for general reader to understand. Because it is difficult to grasp properly questions raising which he throws to and through pictures. As the dragon king who lives in the ocean really can not understand at all the concept of land that heard from the rabbit, it may well be difficult to understand his pictures easily. Especially, for those who have no doubts about myth of record and objectivity which he threw. His picture is difficult for readers to watch, which will begin from the fact that why it is ordinary for readers to see his pictures. His picture is the kind of picture which everyone can take but everyone can’t read. Because people infected with dazzling image with light and color and they were used to meanings which have a particular phenomenon. In that familiarity, Lee Young Wook exhibits an inordinate picture and publishes books. So people wondering. The don’s see through the reason that Lee Young Wook wants to break the myth of “anyone.” The picture of Lee Young Wook is an argumentative meta file record about record. It is not the record of experience, addition by some interpretations, but the record of nature of world.
1 Escape from myth
Lee young Wook took out the topic in a first work released in 1995. He pulled the topic in own long picture history from why Freedom Park in Incheon has been that gallery of the heart of Incheon citizens or nation. Indeed, is there such the substance of Freedom Park that they hold out, conceptualize and spend. That is the work of throwing the question by the pictures-The statue of Mac Arthur, Statue of Liberty, doves, anti-communist, campaign, sign, a memorial to fallen heroes- to interpret history. And that is to criticize coldly the history which is taken in the history made by interpretation as an objective truth and so settled down as the symbol of citizen.

Lee, young-wook, Chayoo Park(Freedom Park),100 x150cm, archival pigment print, 1995.

It is a story-telling for writer to convey a message, with a criticism like cutting Mac Arthur’s head, or treating not to show a phrase of memorial to fallen heroes. And such a way as stuffing an abrupt massage parlor or dirty and not totally liberal dove house into. Why first name “Universal Park” was substituted for “Freedom Park” is naturally contacted with progressive activists in the camp of nationalistic pulling down the statue Mac Arthur. Although a photographer does away the statue Mac Arthur by a picture, that doesn’t seem to support the physical statue destruction that the nationalistic camp was trying. Because he is agonizing not by shouting freedom vs Anti-America through the Mac Arthur but about myth vs real.

The next work is “Touch between object and Silence” in 1998. If agonizing over myth started from previous works is an interpretation of macro-history, “Touch between object and silence” is an interpretation microscopic everyday affairs. In this regard, Lee Young Wook is a Roland Barthes Warrior. According to Roland Barthes, the word is formed by constant structure and the structure is made up a symbol which has a particular meaning people are dependent on that symbol, and regard a system or phenomenon as natural or reasonable or even right ting. Despite not universal meaning, but only myth, people sink in the myth and fight up against something is right. Furthermore, they fight to punish not right ting. They fight for lives. It is really foolish. It is a stupid that they only look up to one interpretation just like the Christian Bible.

Lee, young-wook, Contact of Object & Silence, 8x10inch, archival pigment print, 1998.

Lee Young Wook’s pictures shown in “Touch between Object and Silence” are all objections about the reality of images/ They wish to say that so called reality is to be meaningless. They ask why it was confirmed in universal and objective analysis, only looking at objects is just like his outcome which was formed in the structure of the myth by a certain person who see it. Still in many ordinary place in Incheon-People become sunken in one interpretation of that place is called the common but not the case for himself- He is trying to say that “Nothing is unchanged over multiple subjects to see” “What does one entity mean on earth, then no essence itself” “There are only my own world” “There are only traces that constantly floating in the plan to me.”

A pair of military boots which seem to be wrong for being arranged mismatched, discarded cigarette belts all burned down on briquettes and in front of it, a dead and scattered dove-Doves read as a sign of Peace by people. Rubber hose left a mass of tangles that is placed on the grass. A wooden horse placed on an empty amusement park. A mattress placed in front of cart truck. A woman posing to take a picture in the park and a man in sitting posture like a taking pictures or not. Any single scene isn’t showing an obvious meaning or very nearly, scenes that seemed to be interpreted as a symbol with enough meaning. He collected such scenes. Whoever, try to show a certain meaning about this scene. Because this is the world. Please don’t interpret the world by a well taken photograph, an image with good property and a story with clear reality.

Lee, young-wook, The Memory of Mirror, 8x10inch, archival pigment print(1, 2), 1998.

The work in 2012, and in 2014, are questions raising about the photos record and mythology taken place alignment. The photographer recorded his own workshop surroundings, from 1993 to 1998. After about 15 years, he saw the photo by chance and went back there. And then he ruminated the long hot topic holding himself again. In other words, it is impossible to memory or record specific time in the changed placeness. What was left as a picture is just a memory which wears a mask of record. Can it be free from collective identity made like nation, ethnic group or class. Because I saw, pressed the shutter and recorded. Truly, can my view be only mine? Indeed, can it be free from group? He wants to say it with this question, his picture was moved from ‘I’ to ‘city’. So this city is tempted to say about anything dreamed of. Has the dream been, on earth? What is the dream? Photographer Lee young Wook stuck to break myth about the limitation of record that human has in the changed place in every direction. That is just why he take pictures.

Lee, young-wook, Strange City Wandering,100x130cm, archival pigment print, 2014.
2 Dinial of Record and Documentary

Lee Young Wook as a photographer wrote about the existence and interpretation through and with pictures. If a long work from first time to now, is one thing, and are relevant to the spirit, he succeeds to a critical mind raising in that spirit, puts flesh on in 2011, rubs shiny and expends his thoughts. So-called, it can be replaced by development. If the presence the photographer watches doesn’t have absoluteness and it is open to interpretation now, is the joint of matter which makes the open space of interpretation. By working with Olympus half size camera, it ties different scenes which are accidently placed on either side for being taken in a frame and the work makes the margin of interpretation in contingency. So it is an image which is made on the basis of a chance factor, one of the biggest trait in pictures. The way to show in is a counter-argument that one meaning is fixed with one image one-on-one. It is a challenge for mostly documentary photography that accounts for primary purpose to deliver strong social message. Photographer is, through this work, trying to say constant creating of meanings. He only stopped one by a combination of leaning back in the coincidence the image of two, but will not put a special weight. The special meaning that each image has is just the meaning that was made with the mythology of objectivity, which is tied up in meaning of “usually”, “currently”, “mostly”, “generally”. That can be neither the only absolute one nor certain essence. One picture can’t have certain completed meaning. The photographer is just to try and make “an empty meaning” at these premises. Of course, it is not condition that is meaningless but that is too many to fix with one meaning.

Lee, young-wook, What’s the dream this city dreamt about, 8x10inch, archival pigment print, 2012(1993)
I apprehend the empty meaning of Lee Young Wook in connection with “empty fullness” of “Zen meditation” in Buddhism. Although “Empty fullness” is, if normal logic, an adjectival oxymoron, however, nothing could be further from the truth, seen from India’s cycle outlook. In the world of “The leaves have buds sprout”, Death is life, destruction is just creation, empty is fullness, and fullness is empty without anything. The boundaries made by the provisions of a ritual make sense, which based on the regularity and necessity. But if it disappears, quickly the space is empty, inside it, the meaning assigned in accordance with the provisions laid down in and out disappears and there are full of new unbounded spirit that bears everything. It could not see, recognize, and reproduce, so that is the force which makes all creation work in coincidence and inconstant. Photographer, Lee Young Wook works with half size and wants to say the world of coincidence and mutation which come up in broken borders with a pair of image met by chance. This thing called photos is, anyway, for machine to capture the existence of a object with light and then to read and interpret the image met by chance. So, to talk about an interpretation of the presence, the tool called a camera is, indeed, a good example to show adequateness.

Lee, young-wook, What’s the dream this city dreamt about, 8x10inch, archival pigment print, 2012(1993)
Another way, Lee Young Wook’ developing about “the matter of existence and interpretation” is about recording.
It is <Bukgando> work in 2007.
It is a record but removing record.
The record is that of new dimension to break an existing time and context.
He is trying to deny referential meaning, where some concept, any form, is placed in a position with a particular concept and furthermore, accepted as objective.
A certain object he met in <Bukgando> is the nature about a root, which history or social structure can revert to.
The meaning about an object that we have in the framework of “objective” is to be made by experiencing an awareness which is cut through external factor, that is, social conventions, or historical generalization, being verified, and being strengtened. So, inside it, the twisted things are set by several complex prejudice or bias which cling to, according to each case.
Photographer Lee Young Wook judged the awareness of <Bukgando> which he encounter first time himself as being made in the myth of “generalization” and so he was trying to discontinue. He only met the object in the field, and tried to record a certain natural phenomenon he saw or encountered the object which is not reverted to. He thinks that to stray from the value marred by symbol and made by it can make a certain new meaning.
Lee, young-wook, Bukgando, 90x100cm, archival pigment print, 2007.
So, photographer Lee Young Wook excluds the meaning structure of certain history which naturally come to mind or real when we recall <Bukgando>, selects somewhat unfamiliar image escapes from the myth of record.
That is what he wants to say.
What he records is about definitely scenes that exist in there, sapapnese colonial ere, father’s the fathev’s lost country scenery and Manchurra plain as it is free, for its meaina that it must survive for being bound to take back country scenery.
In the process, photographer stares at the object and can escape from pieces of integrated sense through it.
There is no history, no society, only a phenomenon suspended.
How do you think about how to record the way.
He is talking about made myth of objectivity and another myth of picture (as scientific characteristic) coiled in it.
The proture theory of “pictures with pictures” is indeed a heavy work.
While he was doing this work from 1995, he went to china in 2001. And there, despite an extension work of breaking myth, verbal style is quite different from the existing way in the work <a pleasant place of exile> and <photo diary>. He means that in a totally new way want to say the same subject.

Lee, young-wook, Uncertainty travel, 60x90cm, archival pigment print, 2008.

This work published the picture tied with the text. He says that he arranged two pieces with image and text together by borrowing a picture diary of childhood type because he wanted to overturn the diary that was belived to be insidious frank type of confession. Photo plays a role of scientific evidence, diary is confession that do not see anyone else or try to show to anyone. That is provocation smashing sholder joint with a bamboo gate to audience who belives non-truth just like generalized truth of confession. By the way, he eliminated the text in <uncertain journey> so then, another separate work that was built photographer shows his intention which he eliminated even the text and broke the dailiness of myth represented by above-attempted picture and dairy, only picture.
Although he is breaking the myth and finding new roads, with two genres, suddenly he stopped the pincer movement of breaking myth and seemed to fight breaking myth with completely new way when viewed from a journey of a long battle, it is a genius or distracted. This context should be the same three, when viewed through correlation of images and text, properties with the image removed, and an ordinary object and target choice but <uncertain journey> is understandable to expand realm to development tree, going through introduction, and development one and development two and not passing turn.
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Lee, young-wook, Digital Yain Bian diary-Pleasant banishment, 5x7inch, archival pigment print(1, 2), 2007.
Lee, young-wook, The house, 60x90cm, Pigment inkjet print, 2015.
3. The archive, another a myth

Photographer, Lee Young Wook’ myth breaking work of picture itself with picture greets to “turn” in <The house>2015. In the <The house>, a house doesn’t require a special context of understanding or modification through technique. In itself it takes a picture the object which show last city’s past as most universal and general. Only that image makes the object tell itself, but is made not to represent, otherwise special form. For everyone who regards the city as a living organism, or one who try to clear the hole to breathe a city, without requiring any special explanation and relief, if showing them a few pictures, this is such an image that seems to communicate each other like flowing as a thrill. Compared to the previous, it was enervated and greasy. It is fresh. If anyone see that image he is going to do : How could it be such a house.
Lee, young-wook, The house, 60x90cm, Pigment inkjet print, 2015.
So, showing the subtle house he realizes as it is, the house shouwing the subtle house as it is no more dramatic them those documentaries. Throught the way of archaive, to show as it is, photographer Lee Young Wook converted to way of breaking myth that is objective, which we’ve been doing way so far. Until now, he stops throwing a logic manifests and just passes a mirror to see himself. The impression of work comes from this shift of idea. In the result, Lee Young Wook denies so-called documentary pictures which karry the subjects gaze and social meaning interpreted by it but he doesn’t think that he denies documentary pictures themselves and makes artistic photograph what he escapes from records of pictures is not what he doesn’t record but what he doesn’t record the record judging and defining. This work is literature, that is just what they read looked like this as this work is soft and controled, giving a blank space for reader to read what Lee Young Wook has to do is not a certain absolute record. The image as the record can’t be made, which carries completely and absolutely dry and essential absolute truth.
So, what he is trying to do is not to take rainbow, but to be on his way to take a rainbow. He starts off on not possible road but believing by being accompanied by a new methodology. The new methodology is just ‘archive’. It is to record a certain place, but to exclude the view as far as possible, which the subject watching the object can haveplay object to be able to speak for themselves, not to interfere all the equipments take a dry picture, expanding amount with the atmost effort. As Roland Barthes says, he is trying to make the picture as the only visual media, which talking humans can assume the only independent position in the relation. That’s a strong denial of meaning that pictures have and art.

Lee, young-wook, The house, 60x90cm, Pigment inkjet print, 2015.

The archieve of new methodology which Lee Young Wook chooses started after coming back from china, about six years ago from now. If exactly like he says, to record with a photo on a specific place, and make the object speak for itself, it requires huge time, and the amount is huge, too. You have to see the object outside it and inside it. You should try during the daytime, or during the nighttime. Now although you saw the house outside from now on, go inside and should see, too, wall is house, sofa is house. The house already exists in liquid. The cat riding on the wall is house all the existence of an object is all house. The work to take a picture and show is the methodology of archive. So his archive work is extremely vast. To work is no end. After finishing a work and going to exhibition itself converts to another work. It will be an independent work. Another work accompanied by action and reality. But can the adon disaply be really the reality? Do photographer Lee Young Wook, throw the question through the work on the photography?
Now photographer Lee Young Wook gets out of the downtown area and heads toward farming area and fishing area. The work to break objective or general myth toace a common phrase is stil the farm image we have and the island image are not friendly through his camera not beautiful and not surrounding with Mother and hometown but will seem to be dry as it is. Even if it is not possible, it is introspection or discussion thrown to stereotype and image constantly. It makes crack in myth of the record the public have and raises critical mind to create a conflict inside.
Lee, young- wook, Island project, 100x130cm, archival pigment print, 2015.

It is not social science to pull out result but humanities discussion to raise matter. It is awful and keen challenge to the made myth making record as denying the record nature, arising art as denying art. How should we evaluate something like this? being out of subjectivity pursuing being out of objectivity. Anarchism about existence and record? Another myth build up, demolishing myth?
In front of photographer Lee Young Wook, all the made myth, which is sticken to picture, is collapsing. Hal(喝)!