A Holly Lee and Lee Ka-sing online magazine
Published on Fridays since January 2019
Writings/ Photographs/ Poetry/ Archives

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MOTET (in three parts)

One or two three strokes on Cem Turgay’s photographs
written by Holly Lee


I was by the restless Bosphorus, its water dark, vast and dispassionate. I looked up the sky, so expansive and light, with few fluffy clouds rolled by. I stretched my palm fanning out five forceful fingers, I wanted to grab a piece of the sky. Then I realized I was on a stage, surrounded by things - dead and alive, horses, birds, dogs, humans, whirling, smashing, running amok, as if they were driven by some unknown force, fleeing long inflicted sufferings, from repressions, and all cruelties and absurdities of life. Still feeling dizzy I suddenly found myself on a tightrope, between two sky-high cliffs, performing the impossible feats of balancing and walking. The sky dusked and brushed with fiery red. I looked down from the frightening altitude when a voice was heard, telling me that it was my duty as a cartographer, to gather all knowledge of the world, to sail high and nigh, across seas and mountains, to stand firm, and far from fear; mapping out the scorched and rubbled landscape right below my feet.

A theatre of surreal images set against lands and seas, cities, ruins, playgrounds,  amidst constructed, fictional spaces. Protagonist of the scene is sometime a man in trench coat, a body, a hand, a leg; or an animal, a horse, a dog, an elephant, a flock of birds. The intense, black and white coarse grains unfurl a net of dream-like dramas, calm and controlled scenes before approaching the storm - a circus of madness! Where living men stand for snap shots taken among friends of the dead and disappeared, where one jumps from a smoke billowing chimney 120 stories high, where a person garbed in floral shirt and a striped fedora hat looks out to a distant lighthouse in front of a stormy sea. Beneath the alarming, but undeniably aesthetic beauty, these photographs provide alternative readings of a parallel human history - loud and desperate cries protesting against oppression, suffocation, cruelty and absurdity existed and experienced in some version of reality.

Then he tells me his eyes are laser beams, it cuts and pierces mercilessly into hypocrisy, and autocracy. Now his GPS gets muddled and he needs that light of a beacon to guide him, to where? The world’s a mess, west could be east, and east could be west, and there’s no fair system to measure equality, freedom and despair. The sea, will it ever quiet down, and move calmly - with clarity? Keep looking, I’m behind your back, your fedora hat and floral flair, keep hoping.



An essay on Alchemy

"Pigment on spruce, twenty four pieces of square solid wood, 170mmx170mmx37mm each." (aka Twenty Four Chapters) 

a suite of 24 photographs by Lee Ka-sing






Issue 0416-2021

A Holly Lee and Lee Ka-sing online magazine. Published on Fridays since January 2019. Published by OCEAN POUNDS and archived at oceanpounds.com
All rights Reserved.

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Holly and Ka-sing currently live in Toronto with their daughter Iris, and their cat Sukimoto. Contact with email at - mail@leekasing.com / holly@xpecial.com


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