Daesung Lee

An important theme in the work of Daesung Lee is ‘Globalisation and its impact in contemporary world’ to raise awareness for changes. At BredaPhoto Festival you can see photos from his series Futuristic Archeology. Photos that Lee made in Mongolia. In these staged photographs, Lee compares the landscape in Mongolia from the past with that of today.

Futuristic Archeology

In Futuristic Archeology, Lee shows changes in the landscape by placing an old photo in exactly the same place in the landscape as it is now. The result is shocking. Grassland from a few years ago has turned into a barren plain. Mongolian lakes and rivers have dried up, agricultural land has changed into desert. Grass for the animals to graze is hardly there anymore. All this thanks to climate change. The nomads have to survive here, something that is almost impossible in these circumstances.


Lee: “This project, Futuristic Archeology, is an attempt to recreate the museum diorama. But instead of making these in a studio, with models, I used actual people and their livestock in a real place, the desertified lands in Mongolia. The concept is that these people have been forced to go into a museum diorama for survival. To create the idyllic backdrops, I printed images on a billboard and then placed the billboard in line with the actual landscape’s horizon. By doing this, I hope to convey a sense that the lives of these nomadic people occur between their (disappearing) reality and the virtual space of a museum. Indeed, in the future, I imagine that Mongolian nomadic life might only exist behind the velvet rope of an exhibition.”

About Daesung Lee

Daesung Lee is a Korean photographer based in Paris, France. He has graduated in B.F.A from Chung-Ang University in Seoul in 2003. His career has begun in commercial photography industry but he turned into a documentary photographer since 2007. His work has been awarded in Sony World photography awards, environmental photographer of the year, Lens Culture visual storytelling awards and internationally recognized on CNN, Le monde, Courrier international and Huffington Post and festivals in Arles, Cortona and Barcelona. His work was shown at festivals in Milan, Chicago, Lucca, Instanbul and Paris.