Nikki S. Lee
[Photographer, b. 1970, Kye-Chang, Korea, lives in New York.]

 People think a big camera and big lighting will make art, and I want to break that rule. If you have a great concept, it can be art. 
 Just because I use the photographic medium, that doesn’t mean I’m a photographer. 
 What does it mean to go deeper? Taking pictures when you’re more emotional or sorrowful, or having sex? I just want to have really boring snapshots—people just standing in front of a camera taking pictures with a smile. 
 As for the fashion world, the one thing I respect is its shallowness: it’s so deep—it's so serious. It can be hard to get that kind of shallowness because of its depth and seriousness. 
 I don’t want to carry big things around with me. I’m lazy. The snapshot camera, you just carry it around and take the picture. You don’t need to think about anything. People in the street are not going to wait for you with a big camera. They would freak out. With a snapshot camera, they are comfortable. 
 My work is really simple, actually. I’m just playing with forms of changing. 
 Altogether, I’ve spent nine or ten years learning photography. And I don’t take pictures anymore! I love not having to focus on the technical aspects of things. I don’t like pressing the button or focusing on lighting, but I like photography and looking at pictures. I like the context of photography—I can ready it clearly. I love Roland Barthes and all and I’m actually good at the technical aspect of photography, but after ten years, I’m glad I don’t have to do it anymore. 
 I’m already doing The Artist Project. There aren’t any pictures of it, but it exists. 
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