Gold 2017 Fine Art / Abstract

Portrait of All

  • Prize
    Gold in Fine Art/Abstract
  • Photographer
    Haneul Lee

In 2015, death crawled into my life without an invitation. Upon encountering death, instead of hiding from it, I let curiosity lead the way. In Korea, there is a saying about aging. After 50, everyone starts to look alike. After 60, everyone reaches the same levels of knowledge. After 70, everyone’s state of health becomes similar. After 80, everyone lives in the same wealth circumstances. After 90, everyday is about life and death. In other words, as we are getting closer to death, the things we cherished throughout our lives become distinct with time, and they lose their significant meaning. Eventually, humans and symbolic icons both disappear with time. With the arrival of the digital era, endless reproduction became available. Because of this, it’s rather difficult to find authentic photographs. Just like human life, a photograph’s original condition is hard to maintain too. It’s inevitable that the emulsion cracks after a while and the paper becomes deteriorated. In the end, “eternal images”, too, will disappear. I created images on a copper plate, and I documented their gradual change throughout the working process. Through this project, I wanted to show the limits of human life, and at the same time, that everything goes back to the beginning again. These fading images can be seen as the portraits of all people.