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Jae Hoon Lee creates two new films exploring live weathers and simulated weathers and the layered dichotomy between two; the real and imaginative, a physical location on the coast of Taiwan (one ancestral homeland of Moana peoples), and a virtual space, the human and non-human, the natural and artificial.

Ocean Rain Part 1, (now available to view), explores the mushroom-like stone formations created by geological forces in Taiwan’s Yehliu Geopark, filmed on a stormy day. The weather conditions and large seas have altered the geography into uncanny landforms that the artist speculates could become stranger still as the climate drives larger seas and erodes the coastline. Sounds of waves mix into the cries of seabirds in Aotearoa that have flown on the winds of the East Asian-Australasian highway on one of nine global migration routes.

The second film will be made using CGI and dwells in a digital ocean where uncanny forms also materialise. The dynamic interaction between ocean currents and rain simulates climactic conditions through CGI.

About the artist

A self-proclaimed cultural wanderer, Korean-born photographer Jae Hoon Lee grew up in Seoul, emigrated to the USA in 1993 to study at the San Francisco Art Institute, and then in 1998 to Auckland, New Zealand, where he graduated MFA (2001) and DocFA (2012) from the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts. Lee’s multiple migrations and his preoccupation with expanding technological advances have continued to define and inform his practice. His work makes apparent his enduring concerns of place, movement, individuality.

Lee’s digitally enhanced, hyper-real landscapes are a composite of images he personally gathers in his travels. While his works initially deceive the viewer with their familiar appearance, closer inspection reveals an acutely subjective engagement with the visual texture of a location, an elaborate visual trick.

Lee’s digital photographs, video installation and sculpture have been exhibited widely in New Zealand and internationally over the past fifteen years, and acquired for both public and private collections. Lee won the prestigious Wallace Arts Trust Paramount Award in 2013, including a 6-month residency in the International Studio and Curatorial Program in Brooklyn, New York City; and in 2014 was awarded the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s Cemeti Art House Residency in Indonesia. Lee lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand.