Jinwoo Hwon Lee

<Legally Alienated>, 2017-19

ㅡ exhibited and collected by Life Framer Gallery
ㅡ Winning Image Award by Life Framer Gallery
ㅡ partially exhibited in Praxis Art Gallery, MN, USA
ㅡ featured in PAPER Magazine

I left home 16 years ago. I came to America alone.

I did not speak what everyone spoke. I knew no one. People in the small town noticed me by my color. Koreans born and raised in America thought I was too ‘Korean’. People back home thought I was too ‘American’. I was not one of them. I was not one of my own either.

The physical and emotional distance between two homes never resolved. However, learning to cope with a sense of alienation enabled me to see others undergo their own.

The eclectic black and white photographs in the series reflect such emotions. No images in <Legally Alienated> fully show a face of a person. This signifies the perception I lived through. I never felt fully understood or considered wholeheartedly. Some nuances were always dismissed. As metaphors and as first-hand testimonies, the seemingly disjointed objects and people in the series portray the alienated in different settings and spaces. The loose strings among the photographs invite viewers to imagine their own context of alienation. Despite disparity, true subject of the series reach the subtle struggles experienced as the vulnerable; the rejected; and the departed from and within. 

This body of work is part of the 'Poem-ography' series, in which both poetry and photography are realized in one medium.

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