The sea exiles us, yet we search for a new world on its will.

 

The Ominous Seascape explores and discusses the representation of the physicality of object and text and image. 

 

It fundamentally depicts the room of image and text between intellectual and emotional, political and personal. The texts are extracted from The Stranger by Albert Camus and paired with the experimental images I made to construct the narrative and notion. 

The seascape as the primary visual subject is inspired by the ferry journey between Hong Kong and Cheung Chau. I live in Cheung Chau, but I was not born in Cheung Chau. I moved to Cheung Chau island in 2014, after a big fight with my family. Every morning and night, I took an hour-long ferry to go to Hong Kong and back. 

 

The hour-long journey offers me a break from everyday conflicts between individual and power, me and family. I kept looking at the sea during the journey, and at some point, I realized I was looking for some future of myself and society. The future is vague and blurry. I could not find anything on the darkest seascape but a tiny light from the far end.

 

Years later, I dreamt of the seascape while I was studying in the UK in 2018. The rage, powerlessness and panic were with me all night back then. I chose to drink to paralyze my self-doubt. Night after night, I accidentally discovered many similarities in wine and sea in terms of the shape and mood; later on, I started to make images on wine and wine glass. 

Under the framework of image-text practice, my nostalgic state of mind and imaging future based on wishful thinking has been repeatedly represented by the subversion and echo natures of image-text artwork. I challenge the misty existence of memory by manipulating the present and seek for the beacon of the future.

There is not love of life without despair about life.

There was the same dazzling red glare. The sea gasped for air with each shallow, stifled wave that broke on the sand. ...with every blade of light that flashed off the sand, from a bleached shell or a piece of broken glass, my jaws tightened. I walked for a long time.

I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn't

I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again. For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate.

I've never really had much of an imagination. But still I would try to picture the exact moment when the beating of my heart would no longer be going on inside my head.

And I too, felt ready to start life all over again. It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe.

I had been right, I was still right, I was always right. I had lived my life one way and I could just as well have lived it another. I had done this and I hadn't done that. I hadn't done this thing but I had done another. And so?

I didn’t like having to explain to them, so I just shut up, smoked a cigarette, and looked at the sea.

If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.

Well, then I'll die. Sooner than other people, obviously. But everybody knows that life isn't worth living. And when it came down to it, I wasn't unaware of the fact that it doesn't matter very much whether you die at thirty or at seventy since, in either case, other men and women will naturally go on living, for thousands of years even. Nothing was plainer, in fact. It was still only me who was dying, whether it was now or in twenty years' time.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Jimmy Lee.
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

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photography