In Sean Marc Lee’s photography, there’s always a sense of being in between moments. Even in images where there are no people, it feels like someone just stepped out of the frame a few seconds before. When there are people, they always appear as though they are headed somewhere or coming from somewhere. If you’re not waiting for something to happen, you’re in the afterglow of something you’ll never know about.
I believe my first photos with the SLR were probably of a seagull eating food my friends and I threw at it during lunch time. Of course, it was common then for people to carry disposable film cameras that we took on school trips or birthday parties and develop them at the local drug store.”
But what can seem shocking at first is the extent of intimacy that’s on display in Sean’s photographs. In pictures of his father and girlfriend, they look right into the lens of the camera, but they don’t feel like people. Their humanity is present, but really only as ideas. We are not seeing them as they are, but as how Sean sees them.
Back in September, Sean’s work appeared in CO-NEKOTATION ERA!—an exhibition held in Shinjuku in Tokyo subtitled, “Life with cats and women.” In one particular image, Carina, his girlfriend, cuddles their cat while its tail pokes out from between her legs. It’s a picture of home life, of life most would prefer to keep hidden from prying eyes.
“Photography I personally like and enjoy, is about viewpoint. I want to see and feel how a photographer sees the world, be it a person, object, their cat or some strange quirky thing they noticed out on a walk or with a person they know. It’s about the intimacy and relationship a photographer has with the world around them. And since this is what I personally look for in work I admire, I think that makes me ok sharing it with others because I appreciate seeing good work, the more personal the better.”