Roots, 2006

Digital print
11.2 x 2.9m 

Extending along the gallery’s entrance wall is a large composite photograph by Jae Hoon Lee depicting an elaborate tangle of tree roots. Ever since Charles Darwin described tree roots as a brain-like organ, scientists have investigated their cognitive potential. Recent research indicates that tree roots might indeed function as a form of cognition. They are highly sensitive to their environment, including being able to identify food, threats, differentiate between plant species, communicate with each other and work symbiotically with fungal networks. Lee’s digital collage emphasises the rich sentient life of trees by providing a hyperreal perspective with multiple focal points that draw the eye across the composition, giving the appearance of animacy.