ji-yeo

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ART: Ji Yeo - Society’s Ideal Beauty

South Korean artist Ji Yeo intensively focuses on the notion of beauty and its complex definition within contemporary society. 

‘Ji believes beauty is integral to human nature, and people find beauty in the most difficult circumstances, during emotional chaos and disorder, within societal taboos and the breaking of such taboos and even in the face of death.’

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Ji Yeo, ‘Beauty Recovery Room’, 2014

Beauty Recovery Room  series uses the wounded faces and bodies of women who have recently undergone plastic surgery to show the physical cost of adhering to social pressure in Korea. Plastic surgery has become an integral part of Korea’s current culture, often regarded as a integral step in the in self improvement process. Going under the knife, enduring bruises, scars, and being under general anesthetic several times are no longer considered risky or extravagant. They have all had multiple procedures and have plans for future augmentation. The photos were taken directly after their operation while they were resting and waiting to be healed.

The latest raw data compiled from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in 2010, confirms that South Korea is indeed the country with the world’s highest per capita rate of cosmetic plastic surgery. It is a culture where men are judged on their financial balance sheet and women by their beauty. The male-dominated media endlessly reinforces its model of the ideal woman.  As a result of these cultural forces Korea has become a beauty-oriented society where people are judged more for their appearance than their character. Korean women, often fall into the trap of trying to live up to the ideal personified in the media. The combination of these factors has dramatically increased the burgeoning plastic surgery industry while creating another set of standards for women to adhere to. ”

Artist Statement

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JONATHAN CHERRY: What did you want to be growing up?

JI YEO: A painter. All I wanted to do was drawing and painting. I loved drawing but what I loved more was a beret. I was going to own berets in many colors and wear them whenever I paint. That was my vision of grown up me. But instead I played cello, to go college of music.

JC: Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?

JY: Recently started to go back to dig in Robert Smithson’s work. However, truthfully these days, my withdraw from a intense relationship has been the wheel to keep working and working and create new ideas.

JC: What are you up to right now?

JY: Wearing chunky sweater and have not been outside for 28 hours now. Have no plan to go out at least next 12 hours.

JC: Have you had mentors along the way?

JY: Yes. Her name is Jung Jin Lee. I used to be her assistant when I was nineteen and twenty. Working for her, shaped who I am as an artist, and learned how the true artist should be like. She is currently having world traveling group show at Dox, Praha, with 11 other photographers including Stephan Shore, Jeff Wall, Thomas Struth.

JC: Where are you based right now and how is it shaping you?

JY: I’m in Brooklyn, and I’ve been toxicated by New York, turning into a person who cannot live anywhere else but New York, when the city still eats me up alive.

JC: One piece of advice to photography graduates?

JY: Just survive, and be proud of yourself that you are surviving.

JC: If all else fails - what is your plan B?

JY: Move to France, and learn baking then open my own bakery in Brooklyn. Or I can just not take plan B when I confront the moment I have to.

JC: Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community?

JY: Yes, but not all the time.

@mullitovercc

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Ji Yeo

The assailable shell…the outer, and the way its shape forces certain modes of interaction with the larger world; the world, its people, and the pressure each puts on that assailable shell, shaping that which lies beneath it—Ji Yeo explores these factors in her work, each portrait a careful study of the standards of human beauty, and the effects those standards have on individual souls.

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Photographer Ji Yeo Questions Female Beauty With Photo Series Of Women With Eating Disorders And Hollywood Models

Brooklyn-based photographer Ji Yeo  creates Somewhere on the Path, I See You, a project in which the photographer captures two different types of women: one with extreme self-regulation and distorted notions of beauty that suffer from eating disorders, and the other women are aspiring actresses and models living in Hollywood, California, who are interested in the process of being represented because they carry dreams of fame.

By carefully selecting various body and personality types ,Yeo creates a sample of photos (and people) that further examine larger societal issues regarding ideas of beauty, self-definition, and self-respect.

By forcing viewers to confront images of women who by definition had been judged continuously by themselves, it brought focus to the viewers natural impulse to judge. In doing so it implicates them in the complex relationship we have with making aesthetic judgments.

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Beauty Recovery Room by Ji Yeo

“The latest raw data compiled from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in 2010, confirms that South Korea is indeed the country with the world’s highest per capita rate of cosmetic plastic surgery. It is a culture where men are judged on their financial balance sheet and women by their beauty. The male-dominated media endlessly reinforces its model of the ideal woman.  As a result of these cultural forces Korea has become a beauty-oriented society where people are judged more for their appearance than their character. The combination of these factors has dramatically increased the burgeoning plastic surgery industry while creating another set of standards for women to adhere to” -Ji Yeo