Week 1 – GLAMFA ARTIST – KANG SEUNG LEE

12 Selfies
12 Selfies

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As I walked through the gallery, I found this piece particularly interesting due to its raw, straightforward nature. The artwork portrays men of the gay community taking stereotypical, ‘appealing’ photos; so yes, these selfies are indeed made to impress. Some of my classmates found this artwork disturbing, but I found it intriguing. At first, I thought this artwork was about superficiality, and it might just be. However, I thought about how people take selfies because they either really love themselves (there’s absolutely nothing wrong with loving yourself, it’s actually a good thing), or they are trying to learn to love themselves by gaining approval from their intended audiences. Selfies are about boosting your own confidence; you take them because you want to flaunt how great you look! And so maybe these types of selfies are more common to find within gay dating profiles, but it reminds me how open the community is. People are able to be comfortable enough to post these types of photos of themselves, and I find it to be pretty brave.

In addition, the angles of these selfies are what really spoke to me. I feel that the artist chose some very unique photos that had great angles. I thought the angle the photo was taken could also tell a lot about the person themself. For example, the third photo (the one after the black combat boots) shows a man lying on his stomach, in a very submissive manner. Perhaps, he is trying to appeal to men who are dominant and controlling. From these 12 selfies, it is clear that people really do project what they view as idealistic onto, not only themselves, but also to their audiences. If a man takes great pride in his penis, he will snap a photo of it to show that he is looking for something similar in another man, because it is what he finds attractive or desirable.

After looking up what Kang Seung Lee had to say about this piece, it really a lot of things into perspective for me. He found most these photos by searching through various gay dating websites, and he is particularly interested in how the gay community’s “stereotyped desires” and fetishes. Again, these selfies are meant to project what each person thinks is attractive in general. He is also trying to depict how digital devices have greatly impacted how people see images and photos. From what I can tell, Kang Seung Lee does not believe this is a bad thing; in fact, he seems to appreciate how the “digital culture” has come to shape art. He says that photos based on digital culture are “small, portable, precious, and labored”, showing that he has nothing against modern technology affecting modern art.

Kang Seung Lee’s website

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