Photography and art-making have always been artistic mediums that have enabled Chicago artist Young Sun Han to get closer. In a world full of limits and restrictions, Han’s work has granted him access into the lives of strangers, excused awkward social behavior, and allowed for deep self-reflection.
The content shifts from constructed illusions to gay couples to the artist’s father to subway etiquette, but always, the work engages with a process that is the stimulus for projects. An activist often acts as a catalyst to force a physical and legislative change in a system, whereas Han is interested in revealing phenomena and questioning the questions as an artist. By using a range of traditional and contemporary media, Han is able to fluidly investigate issues that come across his path. Identity plays a role in how Han interprets the world and the way he has learned
to interact with other people.
Behind any medium that bears a relationship with people, there is a process of social production that excites Han. In his longing to connect with strangers, the artist appears in various projects where self-imposed rules direct him toward certain individuals, and in other works, location defaults as the natural selector. By creating representations of others that feel constructed and documentary, casual experiences become heightened and exaggerated by using formal devices.
Union Station uses a wooden frame that mimics an SX-70 Polaroid to create an illusion of space and time flattened into a single moment. In Han’s ongoing series, Out in the Household, large format portraiture captures odd moments and domestic surroundings as the Han performs the role of voyeur in couples' homes. Conflicting signals of gay tenderness, narcissism, and consumerist desires battle it out in the final images.