Jin Lee’s exhibition “Floating World” is a collection of modestly sized digital color prints of the Chicago landscape. Far from the usual urban experience, Lee’s photos chronicle an investigation into the seemingly natural spaces of the human-inflected environment. Lee invites comparison between the elements in each series by hanging several images side-by-side. Her subjects are usually singular and isolated: lone leafless trees against a uniform foggy sky, piles of road salt and snowy lake hillsides. The repetition of similar motifs gives rise to an awareness of the structure or rhythms underlying her subjects. In the most compelling series, simply titled “Water,” a lone wave undulates on a lake, causing a brief shift in the shade of the otherwise uniform murky blue. The wave morphs into a second shape and finally in the third image, as it is about to break, becomes translucent allowing a perfect view of the lakebed normally obscured by the water’s windswept surface. That brief glimpse through the suddenly clear water is a small portion of the otherwise non-descript landscape and is at the heart of Lee’s simple project: to catch a glimpse of the normalcy of the natural, the rote and forgotten workings of time and space. (Dan Gunn)
Through October 8 at Devening Projects + Editions, 3039 W. Carroll
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