23 Gorgeous Photos You Won't Believe Weren't Photoshopped

Jee Young Lee is a 30-something artist who creates amazing, surreal scenes in her small studio in Seoul, South Korea.
She doesn’t use Photoshop or any other program to manipulate her photos (a rarity these days!), so each highly elaborate set can take weeks or even months to construct.

Opiom Gallery in Opio, France displayed her work in an exhibition called Stage of Mind from February 7 to March 2014.

Her first solo show was a huge success, and she’s now seen as one of the most promising up-and-coming young Korean artists.

We got all of the quotes that accompany Lee’s photos from materials from the gallery.

Hat-tip to Gizmodo, where we first saw these amazing photos.

Jee Young Lee works within a small, 160-square-foot studio.

She makes all of the props in her photos by hand.

Her work records her process of growing up.

It narrates and dramatizes her life stories.

Lee: 'The primary motifs in this series derive from my questions about who I am at the moment.'

One reviewer said that looking at her work was like reading someone's journal.

At school, she majored in visual design.

But after all those hours in front of a computer screen, she realised that she prefers working on her feet and constructing things with her hands.

And now she doesn't use digital photo manipulation in her work.

Lee: 'Lighting is difficult and most of all it's gruelling work.'

She says that she enjoys making things so much that she often works through the night without even realising it.

She only shoots with a 4x5, large format camera.

'I tried to evoke the fear that a child has when facing changes to the world they are familiar with,' Lee writes of this piece.

The mystic atmosphere in this photo is achieved using dry ice.

Lee collaborated on this photograph with a master of traditional fan-making.

She writes that this piece was inspired by proverbs like 'Every cloud has a silver lining,' and 'A drowning man will clutch at a straw.'

Note the black dog walking out of the frame.

Lee: 'I get ideas on how I'll express something from time to time in daily life. For example, I'll associate rain with a plastic bottle that I found on the street during the summer monsoon.'

This is based on Hans Christian Andersen story 'Little Match Girl.'

This piece was inspired by da Vinci's 'The Last Supper.'

Here, the artist compares herself to a magnet and the clips are the burdens that we have to carry in our lives.

Lee: 'Reality is too unrelenting to let all the dreams come true.'

This will be her first exhibition in Europe.

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