Unnamed Road is a book by Korean photographer Jungjin Lee in which she approaches the territories of Israel and the West Bank by turning to the landscape. In beautifully balanced black and white images she works with delicate shades of grey and accurate alignment that represents the West Bank as a self-contained world of stillness. The pictures show buildings, and leftovers of human civilisation like streets, barbed wire, ruins, graves and deserted nature. Yet, Lee's approach on the topic is not documentary but rather a search for the spiritual potential and visual aesthetics within the landscape. The competence in her images lays in Lee's ability to turn her mind into pictures without telling an explicit story. Her images invite viewers into a world of stillness and visual balance in which her own thoughts and feelings at the time of exposure were more critical to the picture than the description of scene before the lens. On a quest to overcome uncertainty and disconcertedness during her time at the West Bank, Lee collected treasures of silence and thought in a place of volatile emotions and unrest that are brought together in this book.
As Lee suggests in the title of her book, she leads into a no-man's-land, and turns the gaze at the landscape without pre named judgement - an Unnamed Road. The binding of the book itself creates an eternal landscape reflected in the accordion binding. The feature creates a photo book that can be unfold in various sections and series of several images next to each other and create an individual experience of looking at the landscape in an unpredetermined sequence.
Unnamed Road is part of a project entitled This Place, which explores the complexity of Israel and the West Bank through the eyes of twelve internationally acclaimed photographers in order to create a diverse and fragmented portrait of the paradoxes of this place. See also our book review of Them by Rosalind Fox Salomon.
Unnamed Road is available from MACK.