Presence by Minny Lee




Presence (2010-ongoing)
by Minny Lee
Sept 4 - 30, 2021
Photographer Zoom Q&A Sunday, Sept 12, 5:30pm
Zoom ID 808 597 8733

Artist Statement

Presence is a self-portrait series that intertwines personal memories to the history of a given place. By assuming the roles of both subject and photographer, each photograph becomes a negotiation between the real and surreal, visible and invisible, and internal and external. There is a performance aspect—where to place myself in the location; where to look; how to pose; and how to frame—that contemplates both the gaze of others and the gaze of myself. Some of the places in the photographs were used for military activities during World War II, such as Santa Maria delle Grazie, a 16th-century convent in Mestre, Italy, Hotel Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and a disguised military village in Montauk, New York. Other places like Asbury Park in New Jersey endured economical and social changes in the region over many decades. There is no intent to tell exact stories. Rather, each photograph is an invitation to imagine untold and unseen stories from the viewer’s individual experience or notion of history.

Artist Bio

Minny Lee is a Honolulu-based artist whose practice encompasses photography, video, poetry, and artist’s book. Her work contemplates the concepts around time and space and the coexistence of duality. Lee obtained a Master of Arts in Art History from City College of New York and Master of Fine Arts in Advanced Photographic Studies-Bard. She participated in an artist-in-residence program at Halsnøy Kloster (Norway), Vermont Studio Center, and Datz Museum of Art (S. Korea). Her work has been exhibited at the East Hawaii Cultural Center, Datz Museum of Art, Center for Fine Art Photography, Les Rencontres d’Arles, Lishui Photo Festival (China) and Galeria Breve (Mexico) among other venues. Her limited edition artist’s books, Encounters and Million Years have been acquired by private collectors and the library collections of Stanford University, University of Arizona, Amon Carter Museum among other venues. Lee has taught classes at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu Museum of Art School and the International Center of Photography.