Sean Lee


Two People

I see in photography glimpses of what I can only describe as divine. I sometimes look at pictures of myself as a child. The boy I see is clearly me, yet he has not aged like I have. It seems to me that photographs are a kind of alternate reality. One that is eerily similar to ours, yet at the same time radically different. Photographs are a timeless realm. People are neither young nor old because they will never age. In a way, it is quite difficult to refer to photographs as moments in time, for how can there be moments in a reality without a beginning or an end. In my own mind, I sometimes feel like these little photographs are a clue to something larger. Perhaps they point us to the possibility of an eternal realm.

I have tried to bear this in mind in the making of my work. I have been routinely choreographing performances and situations between my father, my mother, and me, since 2010. I used to think I knew what I was doing with the making of these images, but as time passed I became less certain. At times they seem to speak to me about the dreams and nightmares of childhood. Most of the time, however, they make me wonder about the strangeness of being human and the mystery of being part of a family, of being a part of a lineage. I continue to photograph my parents because they are the only people who occur to me without my own choosing.