Dreamscapes: Handmade Fantasy Environments by JeeYoung Lee

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One tiny 3-by-6-meter space has had dozens of different dreamlike incarnations as hand-crafted fantasy settings by Korean artist JeeYoung Lee. At times, it takes months for JeeYoung to transform her studio to match up with the image in her mind as she builds all of the elements, piece-by-piece, to create the surreal scene.

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Built like a set for a film or play, these temporary dream rooms are packed with handmade props created from paper, wood, cardboard and other materials. JeeYoung re-paints the studio, crafts and assembles all of the strange items she requires for each scene, and carefully sets them up for a single photographic result.

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The artist inserts herself into each image, not so much as a self-portrait but as an active participant – like a character in a story, or perhaps the dreamer of each strange dream. Not wanting to be a distraction from the spectacular settings, she typically turns her head away from the camera. Sometimes, she’s hard to spot among all of the chaos of the space.

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“Her creations act as a catharsis which allows her to accept social repression and frustrations,” explains her artist bio at Opion Gallery. “The moment required to set the stage gives her time to meditate about the causes of her interior conflicts and hence exorcise them; once experienced, they in turn become portents of hope.”