According to Kim Yeongho, Professor of Chung-Ang University, the work of Lee Lee Nam is a fusion of the high-tech environment and traditional art and culture, “After replicating timeless works of art from across the world, from impressionism and symbolism to traditional paintings by literary artists and landscape paintings, on a computer screen, Lee converts the data into 3D image files with Photoshop. He then uses the video-editing program, 'After Effects', to edit selective parts of the images to create motion… Lee Lee-Nam has stretched beyond the novelty of replicating and altering famous images through digital technology, earning popular appeal through his imagination and creativity. The true value of media art lies not in the acquisition and application of state of-the-art technology, but rather in the ability of the artist to realize creative ideas hidden between the lines of such technology. What allows Lee’s art to reach beyond the medium to provide a new artistic experience is perhaps a certain value that is instilled in his works.
Kim also concluded two reasons for the success of Lee Lee Nam: “First, a general trait throughout Lee’s works is the active use of replication, appropriation and parody…The symbolic system of using existing works of art produces a surprisingly strong effect. Lee duplicates and re-creates the aura exuded by the timeless paintings via the computer monitor, and by twisting or even destroying the images extracted, he frames them into a new context. His process of distortion and destruction are not to be taken negatively, for it is actually indicative of an exuberant and light playfulness. From one certain angle, Lee’s approach is akin to Marcel Duchamp’s playful appropriation of Mona Lisa, who displayed the famous image with the addition of a moustache and a goatee…However, in Lee Lee-Nam’s case, it must be noted that his form of replication, appropriation and parody creates a new and unique paradigm.
…Meanwhile, unique achievements of Lee’s works can be summed up as follows: first, Lee materializes the concept of the aforementioned old saying, “find new knowledge and opinions by reviewing the past”. His ongojisin is based on appropriating images from traditional paintings and reproducing them by animated graphics. During the process, a two-dimensional plane is transformed into a three-dimensional space, the still images of landscapes are reconstructed, and images of flowers, plants, birds, insects and human figures are open to a pluralistic point of view. A “taxidermied” moment is liberated towards a four-dimensional world in which time and space are linked together.
... Another unique element is the lightness and wit in Lee’s works. On behalf of the public, Lee practices taboos with delight against the damage, theft and consumption of masterpieces. His works convey a wit and lightheartedness because we know that what he does is not reality but just a deft handling of fabricated illusions. Tearing down walls between reality and fantasy, between originals and copies, Lee builds his own paradigm. In his works, exercise of the imagination is expressed through the fusion of space as well as time.”