Fukt Magazine: Your latest animation “Dance, Dance, Dance” you have made by using drypoint, hundreds of images based on footage from your personal dance performance. Like in previous works, all the images stay in the frame, adding layer after layer of recent history. The past leaves its marks and the frame gets darker and darker from all the lines. How (and when) did you start working with this method, and what was your starting point?
Kakyoung Lee: As a printmaker, drypoint is my favorite medium. I have studied printmaking since 1993. I have had numerous shows with lots of prints and drawings, including from traditional prints to life size installations using cutout prints, artist books, and even slide shows with etchings. I had also created many childrens’ books with etchings and drypoints. When I came to New York to study bookmaking in 2001, I wanted to stretch the limit of artists’ books, and tried to make something new to me; moving images using prints and drawings. At the beginning, I started with a sort of stop motion using graphite and charcoals like Kentridge’s films. Then, I wanted to have the texture of sharp drypoint lines in the moving images, so expanded the concept of moving image on a fragile Plexiglas. At the same time adding layer after layer of recent history of an everyday image, the individual marks of the past are gradually disappearing just like in our daily lives.
Fukt Magazine: You are usually depicting scenes from everyday life, intimate moments like in “Family Portrait” or “Day Series”. When you choose your scenes for the animations, what are you looking for and what do you want to communicate?
Kakyoung Lee: I try to focus on very daily moments based on personal daily life and its surroundings; repetitive, noting special, easily ignored and forgotten, and constantly moving such as walking, washing dishes, pushing a stroller, pig backing child for her day napping, and walking to the farmers market every Sunday. Most of my moving images are based on video footages of self-recorded personal daily performances. In “Family Portrait -2009”, I tried to depict the struggling moment right before a family portrait was taken. “Day Series – 2007” also based on personal short performances. I want to communicate the layers of forgettable and repetitive daily moments that after all are part of my live and its history.
Fukt Magazine: How important are the drawings/prints – do you see them as mere steps to the final work (the animation)? Do you usually show the prints together with the animation when you exhibit?
Kakyoung Lee: Drawings/Prints are fundamental elements and final works at the same time. Although I make moving images with them, each print represents its own daily moment. In the process of drawing, there is only the last image left over hundred erased images on paper at the end. I include hundreds of prints along with the animation when I exhibit.