Heavy Beauty

Dongju Lee & Chanyoung lee

See it On Campus: Level 1

Visitor Info

Next to the first floor main elevator on your right.

Photography Installation

For this last semester of John and I’s fourth year we have decided to expand our initial project created in October of last year. This project being a heavy project to work on we both understood that it is worth showcasing towards a wider spectrum of people. Our project focuses on the Korean beauty aesthetic and the issues surrounding this topic amongst our youth. The ideal face and body in Korea is so embedded into everyone’s brain, as if it were computer generated. This almost computer generated way of thinking in Korea especially is getting worse and worse everyday. I also have experienced this myself. Previously we took a more medical approach as well as a contextual approach to this project, but we then decided to dive deeper, gather more models and more stories. We want to address the personal experiences that came from the specific culture, Korean, however, as the project progresses, we decided to reflect upon the aesthetic and strict beauty standard in the whole Asian culture. Although there is a wide spectrum of asian cultures and traditions, most asian countries understand what is called “beautiful” in a similar if not the same manner. This project talks about the social pressures within the Asian community and how discrimination plays a part in how people see themselves and how they want to be seen. With that comes plastic surgery , wanting to change one’s appearance to fit the Asian idealistic views on what is considered “beautiful”. This project was to show the severity of how Asian discriminative actions comes to play with how a person of asian descent may see and understand themselves.

P.S.* Heavy Beauty has nothing to do with prescribing plastic surgery to all the individuals in our project. It’s about how plastic surgery plays a part in the way someone can perceived and or want to be perceived due to the ongoing stress of racist and discriminative actions that are constantly portrayed onto asian communities.

Dongju Lee & Chanyoung lee

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Michelle Lee
BFA Photography Major

DongJu Lee (Michelle Lee), Vancouver, BC based artist who specializes in analogue photography and has been working in the photography realm for the past 8 years.

In all art forms I believe the implementation of storytelling whether the story being told is true or completely made up. Within all of my works, I want the viewer to understand that the art of storytelling is a significant part in my creation process. I specify in analogue photography due to the fact that the developing process has a special element compared to digital images. With digital images you get what you see, it’s right there in front of you. With film, the somewhat peculiarity it holds in each photograph makes it special to me. Not knowing what I will result in when I press the shutter on a film camera creates this eagerness and excitement in which digital images cannot provide for me, personally. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the realm of photography, which is why I continue to take pictures of the world but always keep in mind that photography is not the world. The beauty of being able to adventure into different mediums to achieve interesting and unique works is quite special in the sense that photography is developing everyday and the possibilities are endless. My work represents my thoughts during that period of time, and with the help of a camera I get to express my ideas in a manner that raises questions and leaves the viewer to think more about what is being represented, and understand that there is always a story behind what is shown.

Chanyoung Lee
BFA Photography Major

Chanyoung Lee, based in Vancouver, Canada and Seoul, South Korea, produces photographic series mainly of street photography and documentation. My inspiration mainly comes from the experiences in different cultures as an immigrant. I sometimes simply compare them, sometimes separate them, and sometimes I also raise my own opinions.

I feel like taking photographs is either like working in a chemistry lab or writing an autobiography. Sometimes we know how the results are going to look like, sometimes we depend more on luck. Even though we sharply shape and calculate the scenes before transforming those data to the actual images, still there is always some room for involvement of something irresistible. It may change the whole scene from what I expected, but I treat them as the same and unconscious part of me.

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