RYan Lee is pleased to present Sangbin IM: Collection, an exhibition featuring new photographs that are an aggregation of the vast photographic data the artist has taken and collected for over a decade. This new body of work is an expansion of IM’s practice that couples painting, photography, and digital techniques to build his own archive of photographic data. He then reinterprets this collection to create a new idea of spaces that we encounter in our daily lives. This is the first time IM is revisiting past source material to create his complex digital photographs.
In “People-Architecture” and “Sea,” IM constructs a new site not based on any particular place. It is instead imbued with its own collective energy culled from a broader spectrum of images. In “Sea-Land,” he plays with this idea further, compositing the photograph from images of many places and creating a reverse perspective to explore the observer and the observed within one plane. Because of this deliberate act by the artist to combine multiple images in one, these become places of “nowhere.”
“Cappadocia” disrupts the peaceful nature of landscape, which the artist has exaggerated, with the presence of a human. Although it is the artist himself in the photograph, he exits within the composition symbolically. He could be anyone who visits the site and documents their physicality in a space that is largely void of a human presence. Similarly, “Parthenon” takes on an iconic space to document the human presence. Taking photographs of the multitude of rocks that surround the grounds of the temple, IM composes a new image, placing the rocks in front of the structure to mimic the appearance of a tourist family photograph, bridging the newfound reality of today’s pervasive digital culture with an icon of civilization. His existence at the site, suggested by the entry ticket, becomes the centerpiece of the scene, overshadowing the classic architecture. It is important to note that these photographs are based on the artist’s presence at each site as he experienced first-hand each place that he observes through his lens. These images are all taken by him, albeit at different times, which gives him a unique perspective to express his observation of people and place.
Sangbin IM lives and works in New York, NY and Seoul, Korea. He received his MFA in painting and printmaking at Yale University as a Fulbright scholar and currently teaches at Sungshin University in Seoul. His work has been the subject of notable group exhibitions, including the Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea; Royal Academy of Arts, London, England; Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea; Museo Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn, Alabama. His work is also included in major public collections, including the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea; the Centro Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Álava, Spain; and the Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea.