Frank Lee blends mundane domestic visuals against the backdrop of equally repetitive sounds to create not mere actuality, but reality.
In the video, Frank Lee blends visuals of everyday quarantine activities, such as preparing a meal, indulging in creative practice such as his piano, and exercise. These visuals are accompanied by an increasingly faster-paced metronomic cacophony of the sounds: the chop-chop-chopping of meal prep, a literal metronome, the tap-tap-tapping of a jump rope.
The visuals aren’t anything special; Lee hasn’t set out to play tricks here or to use visual language that is extraordinary in any way. The sound is nothing out of the ordinary. But that’s the point. The artwork doesn’t show a mere actuality, but a heightened reality. The video is less about how things are or what they look like, but rather what the reality of being in lockdown feels like.
For context, I am currently in Melbourne, Victoria, and we are heading into our fourth (or possibly sixth?) lockdown. I think I’ve lost track a bit. Frankly, this work by Frank Lee expertly captures what I am feeling.
Additionally, the work highlights that photography and videography are, at their core, strictly about a creative idea: having an extremely singular vision and executing that to perfection creates for the most compelling works of art. The remainder of Lee’s oeuvre is equally simple, yet creative. He utilizes everyday objects and normal scenes but elevates them to find moments of magic among what most people would dismiss as nothing. If you have a few minutes to spare, I’d encourage you to check them out.
Finally, in the comments, I’d be keen to hear your thoughts on how you executed a creative project in not-so-extraordinary domestic settings with what you had at hand!