Theoretical Family

Waiting 7 years after undergrad to attend graduate school in essentially the same field means you’re crazy, independently wealthy, extremely bored with your life, or desperately seeking some sort of artistic community because spending another day working in your current industry will cause you to develop some kind of really impressively eccentric hobbies, like lampshade hoarding, or breeding exotic animals in your closet-sized NYC apartment. In my case it was a touch of A, a sprinkle of C, and mostly D. When I came to Pratt, my minimum goal was to gain inspiration from the two professors I’d admired from afar and hopefully reshape my own work into something more polished and cohesive. Long winded Hallmark card later, one of the most impressive photographers I’ve ever encountered thus far in my life (full stop, not “in class” or “in Brooklyn” or “not shown in a major gallery”) just so happened to be one of my classmates, Seung Hun Lee. Seung Hun and I both went to SAIC for undergrad, albeit in different years, and immediately had that in common, along with a propensity for photographing vacant urban spaces instead of, say, people. I remember when we first got to know each other and were talking about affordable web hosting services – my first glance at his website, intended as a glimpse into the quality of the customizable template he’d used, turned into several hours of gawking at unbelievably stunning parking lots. Since that time, I’ve gotten to know Seung Hun much better as an artist and de facto older brother of sorts (as he’s perhaps several months older than I am) in our weird little grad school family, and his work has evolved into something haunting, eerily poignant, and undeniably masterful. He’s one of my favorite photographers, even removed from the context of our friendship. The following images were from his graduate thesis exhibition, held in May at Pratt.