Sharon Lee is a Hong Kong visual artist working with pinhole photography, expanded archives, visual poetry, and relational aesthetics to rethink cultural dislocation. Lee concerns history in the poetics of disappearance, memories in the presence of absence, and the diasporic worlding in a sense of itinerant belongings. Lee’s image-based art practice radiates towards an interdisciplinary approach informed by expanded archival research to propose resilience and decolonisation. Lee moved to New York City in 2023. Searching for creases of home in a foreign fabric, Lee examines imperial cultural representation, colonial history, surveillance technology, and transcultural experience.
Lee’s voice in photography emerged when she began to question the camera. She slows down photography when technology speeds up the way we see to counter mass, speed and power in post-photographic conditions. In Lee’s art practice, she considers photography in a sculptural and relational approach using humanistic interactions to override the mechanical eye. In If Tomorrow Never Comes (2023), Lee creates “social portraits” with pinhole cameras transformed from found objects, and uses a long conversation regarding the future as photographic time.
In reproduction and erasure, Lee works with systems, structures and materials of image-making as a form of negotiation. In Wish You Well (2020-), starting from a historical postcard image of the Public Garden, Lee attempts to reclaim a colonial site by building a collective wishing fountain with the act of wish-making. In The Remnants of Yesterday (2022), Same River Twice (2020) and The Crescent Void (2019), Lee combines primitive imaging technology, like darkroom solarisation, negative film, light of copy machine; and reproduction techniques, like concrete moulding and porcelain imprinting, in creating hybridised visual forms that straddle between analogue and digital, image and sculpture. The hybridity echoes her cultural identity and bilingualism.