ONE AND THE SAME 2007

ONE AND THE SAME

 

You were a mere sign, 

Till I named you.

 

But when I called you by name 

You came to me:

You became a flower.

 

I want someone, 

My match in tone and scent,

Would call my name as I called yours. 

 

I will go to that person,

I will be that person’s flower.

 

We all wish to be something.

You for me, me for you;

To be something meaningful, unforgettable. 

 

Flower by Kim Chun-soo 

 

The act of naming can be referred to as lending meaning to the meaningless. So an act of sorting out something special from unspecified things, then naming it, is a discovery of its meaning, true nature, and value. Like Kim Chun-soo’s poem above, we all wish to become something both unforgettable and meaningful to each other. Call me by my proper name: I will go to you, become your flower.

 

My work begins by identifying countless beings that often remain anonymous in our age of multimedia. I am interested in photography, that most appropriate of mediums, for making an object perceived appear real, and to capture, represent, and convey an object more directly and concretely than painting and writing. There really are no other mediums able to capture an apple more completely and accurately than photography: it holds a referential function stronger than language. 

 

A name is akin to a photograph in that it refers to a specific object concretely and directly. If a name can be depicted in a photograph, a referential meaning can also be presented as a form for direct conveyance – that is, without intermediation. However, this is unlikely, as a name is just a linguistic sign; it has no substance, and is just a symbol indicating an object. Paradoxically however, we can encapsulate such names. How can we do this? This answer is within different people with the same name. 

 

This ‘same name’ connects each image of a person who shares that name, organized in a semantic network, of portraits arranged horizontally. These remain equivalent, under the same name, and as a series of images they converge into the common past of that same name. In other words, each photograph can show an independent image of each person sharing the same name, so what’s contained in the image is their name as signifier. The photograph thus becomes a means for communication like language, in that it encapsulates and chronicles ideas and feelings, and enables us to talk with each other. When our name is called, we realize that our mere existence becomes unforgettable experience.

001_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B JUNE 16, 2002 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
001_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B JUNE 16, 2002 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm

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002_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B OCTOBER 12, 1987 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
002_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B OCTOBER 12, 1987 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm

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003_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B NOVEMBER 12, 1986 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
003_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B NOVEMBER 12, 1986 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm

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004_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B JUNE 23, 1984 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
004_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B JUNE 23, 1984 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm

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005_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B NOVEMBER 19 1980 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
005_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B NOVEMBER 19 1980 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm

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006_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B JANUARY 10, 1973 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
006_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B JANUARY 10, 1973 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm

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007_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B JULY 28, 1972 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
007_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B JULY 28, 1972 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm

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008_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B FEBRUARY 20, 1971 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
008_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B FEBRUARY 20, 1971 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm

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009_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B JANUARY 20, 1970 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
009_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B JANUARY 20, 1970 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm

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010_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B MAY 15, 1968 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
010_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B MAY 15, 1968 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
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011_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B NOVEMBER 2, 1965 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
011_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B NOVEMBER 2, 1965 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
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012_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B AUGUST 26, 1965 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
012_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B AUGUST 26, 1965 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
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013_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B AUGUST 11, 1962 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
013_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B AUGUST 11, 1962 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
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014_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B MARCH 7, 1957 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
014_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B MARCH 7, 1957 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
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015_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B AUGUST 17, 1955 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
015_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B AUGUST 17, 1955 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
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016_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B OCTOBER 1, 1935 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
016_EUN JONG LEE, D.O.B OCTOBER 1, 1935 Gelatin silver print_60x60cm
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