Canvas Backdrops Turn Actual Trees Into 2D Artworks
Myoung Ho Lee is a South Korean artist and photographer. Lee received his Bachelor, Master and Ph. D in photography from Joong-Ang University in Seoul, South Korea.
Represented by the Yossi Milo Gallery in New York City, the gallery explains:
“Myoung Ho Lee photographs solitary trees framed against white canvas backdrops in the middle of natural landscapes. To install the large canvases, which span approximately 60 by 45 feet, the artist enlists a production crew and heavy cranes. Minor components of the canvas support system, such as ropes or bars, are later removed from the photograph through minimal digital retouching, creating the illusion that the backdrop is floating behind the tree.
The series includes diverse species of trees photographed with a 4×5 camera in a variety of seasons and at different times of day. Mr. Lee allows the tree’s natural surroundings to fill the frame around the canvas, transforming the backdrop into an integral part of the subject. Centered in the graphic compositions, the canvas defines the form of the tree and separates it from the environment. By creating a partial, temporary outdoor studio for each tree, Mr. Lee’s ‘portraits’ of trees play with ideas of scale and perception while referencing traditional painting and the history of photography.”
What’s most intriguing about Lee’s Tree series is the way a simple white canvas backdrop isolates the subject from the rest of the landscape. Characteristics of the tree become more apparent and it appears flat and 2 dimensional, foregrounding what is normally background.
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