Lee Guk Hyun

Artist Statement 

In the artist’s work, the female identity emerges as an image representing sex as commodity. As a fetish device, we can see the simplified background which draw the attention solely to the model. The background color has been set in pastel tone, emphasizing the soft feminine feel. The model comes in either looking straight at the potential spectator or twists the angle a little bit to show the feminine body and facial lines. The poses have been directed with eyes without focus, the slightly parted lips showing teeth with lipsticks smudged around, the layer of lace adorning the thin feminine garment, the neckline and the chest showing through hair, etc. Tantalizing seductionstrategically accentuate the ambiguous relativity of the desire. (This may perhaps be related to voyeurism. Regardless to the kind of desire, this might be a suffocating scene of the battle between the desire to look and the desired to be beheld).

And props as supporting device appears at this point. To be a little exaggerating, the sunglasses which covers more than half of the face looks like a mask one might see at a costume party. These props has been employed to accentuate the sexual fetish.

Not to mention the masks, it is really clear that the sunglasses are artificially set props, as it is less likely in real setting for one to engage in acts of affection in such condition. Furthermore, the seductive pose of the model resting on the soft velvet matter just looks overly orchestrated. The scene itself is largely dramatic, moved away from the ordinary everyday life, and it is meant to re-enact a breathtaking scene in a drama. (Under the assumption that sexual events still throbs one’s heart). Here, the signs are no longer confined to the realm of reality, but are rather abstract. It goes beyond the restraints of the reality and creates fantasy. The signifiers’ pertaining meanings are not merely confined to the reality. The signified of the signifier is fantasy. In other words, the functional context of the sun-wear of blocking excess sunlight is irrelevant in the work. It is an instrument for sexual seduction.

The mask works as persona or the substitute subject. One hidebehind the substitute and consume the subject. The substitute(or the mask), like the sunglasses, belongs to the realm of fantasy and fiction. One can infinitely project one’s desire onto the substitute, and one can even realize the desire of the entity behind the substitute. Hence it is possible for one to seduce the other.

Guk-hyun Lee suggest female entity as an image of sexual commodity. (It is more of an implicit reaction towards such tendency in the society, rather than a suggestion). And as a auxiliary device(also part of fetish) suggests sunglasses and party-wear mask, and these are all instruments of seduction. Incidentally they are all to do with the act of seeing. They are tools of seduction and one employed by the seduced. They help one achieve the objective of seduction more efficiently. The act of looking is deeply related to sexual incidence, and it is also to do with voyeurism. Sartre’s definition regarding the subject supports the view that it has a lot to do with the struggle coming from the desire to control the other, and the tug of war between the onlooker and the beheld is profoundly involved in existential matter. To seduce or to be seduced?

Lee Guk Hyun’s Website

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