Torso Series

by June Yong Lee

Bodies record personal stories that often differ from how we remember them. Memories are, like scars on skin, fragile; skin reflects who we are and tells stories that we might not always recognize. Some scars last longer than others while some heal but never disappear, helping us preserve memory. We use tattoos to engrave memories under our skin and make them permanent. We change the form of our bodies by losing and gaining weight. Although memories deteriorate with time, our skin never forgets. Skin is the outer layer of us that separates or connects from who we are to the world outside. We are born with it, and skin is the biggest organ that we have. Skin defines and dictates who we are. We judge and categorize people by it.

Through the photographs in the Torso Series, I want to visually present what skin can reveal to us. By removing the forms and shapes of the body, viewers are asked to consider both the unique and universal characteristics of skin. Digital technology enabled me to create this constructed imagery while still maintaining the reality of the body. This provides us with objective, detached, and unfamiliar views of the body and its stories. Observing the intimate and subtle details of each individual’s history can help us to identify our own personal differences and understand others – and ourselves – better.