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Artist Evan Lee experiments with images

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Lee forgoes the camera to capture the details of ginseng roots with a scanner.

Vancouver-based visual artist Evan Lee will discuss his innovative photography process in this month’s Langara English forum on Mar. 19.

In the last monthly forum of the semester held by Langara English instructors, students and staff were invited to join Lee and instructor Heather Jessup in a conversation about the relationship between photography and poetry at Langara.

Lee’s unique approach key in making images his own

Lee first got into photography when he started his fine arts undergraduate degree in UBC, but as time passed, he developed into a visual artist who strives to combine different forms of art to push the boundaries of creating images.

“In pretty much all of my projects, I take an experimental approach to photography,” Lee said. “For the most part, I spend a lot of time avoiding using traditional ways of making a photographic image.”

Heather Jessup said the intricacy of Lee’s work makes him unique from other artists.

“I think his work is deceptively simple,” she said. “I think when you immediately look at it you know something is surprising about it but you can’t figure it out, so you have to kind of stand in front of it and look at it for a little while longer and figure it out. It’s almost like a riddle.”

Accidents can turn into art

In his recent work, Lee turned his photographs into paintings by intervening the printing process to give his work a new look.

“That particular project when I started to really combine painting and photography actually happened by accident,” he said. “I ended up printing the inkjet on to something that was the wrong material and so the inks wouldn’t dry and that’s when I got the idea to move the inks around like a painting.”

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Lee intentionally printed the original forest fire photo on the wrong side of the paper to manipulate the inks to create a painting effect.

Jessup hopes the discussion will help inspire students interested in similar area of studies.

“I think when you actually get to meet an artist in person it can change your life.”

The event featured Lee’s ginseng root scans and drawings of ladies shopping in Chinatown that will be included in his upcoming exhibition at the Richmond Art Gallery from Apr. 26 to Jun. 15

 Reported by Leslie Kam

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