The Paradox

Je Sung Lee (MDes ’19)

When it comes to the “wilderness,” we often fall into a dilemma—do we feel secure away from the wilderness, or can the wilderness save us?

Throughout the semester, I visited several “urban wild” near Boston. In doing so, I hoped to formulate an artistic way of appreciating the environment and help navigate my dilemma of the wilderness. By producing images from each encounter, I examined my attitude toward it. This process guided me to a specific method in capturing the wilderness: cyanotype.

I used cyanotype as a toolkit to reinterpret the wilderness. Factors such as location, direction of the sun, duration of exposure, and even the dimension of the image shaped the aesthetic of the work. In that sense of appreciation, the process worked as a guideline to explore my paradoxical view of the wilderness. So the cyanotype, a method of acquiring images using the sun, allowed me to carefully consider the wilderness in all of its unexpected variables.

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