Dongwook Lee’s works are suffused with a simultaneously gloomy and lyrical horror. His miniature human figures condense both hyper-reality and surrealistic illusion, creating odd but beautiful cacophonies. Some are displayed as medical curiosities, squeezed into a syringe or cocooned in a bell jar. Here, the human form is scrutinised and dissected under a cold scientific gaze.
Lee’s characters find themselves hooked, tied, cubed, canned and worse. The countenance of these unfortunate positions linger long after viewing. The size difference between spectator and subject increases the empathic qualities that run through the works. It is a sensation that recalls witnessing childish cruelty to insects, all we can manage to say is, “stop!” before stealing that next licentious glance. There is an ever-present opposition between the mundane and the grotesque, reality is constantly disrupted and challenged by fantastical illusion.