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Canadian Artist of the Week
LOOK AT THIS: Evan Lee’s Adventures In (And Around) Photography
June 7, 2014
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Forest Fire, Hobson, 2010

LOOK AT THIS is a weekly series featuring the work of Canadian artists, designers and creators of all sorts.

Name: Evan Lee

Born: East Vancouver, 1975

Lives and works: East Vancouver

His work: Although Evan Lee's art encompasses everything from painting to performance, his work usually has something to do with the nature of photography. "For a long time, my work was linked by concerns about photography and its evolution from an analogue medium to a digital one," Lee told "But more recently, some themes that were always implied in my work, such as migration, family and racism, have emerged more prominently." For his Forest Fire series (one of which is shown above), Lee started with found photos, then printed them out on the wrong side of dark room photo paper — resulting in a bit of a mess. He finished the works with a paint brush, creating an image that's part photo and part painting. 

On the character of ginseng roots: For his Ginseng Root Studies, in the gallery above, Lee used a scanner to capture the images. "Ginseng root is known for its resemblance to the human figure, and this was something I remembered my parents pointing out as we walked by the herbal shops in Chinatown," Lee said. "Now I point them out to my daughter. It's fun to imagine them as different characters, or to project personalities onto them."

Another Canadian artist he admires: "I have been thinking about the work of Brad Phillips lately while I have been working on some paintings. I really appreciate his commitment to narrative painting and the straightforwardness in his work."

Evan Lee: Elders and Roots is on display at the Richmond Art Gallery until June 15. Lee was recently shortlisted for the 2014 Sobey Art Award.


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