The influence of social media on our daily life and behaviour is enormous. Posts and feeds continuously convey news and produce a constant stream of (self-)representations. The struggle for attention is huge, accompanied by a growing compulsion to keep up with others and a fear of missing out (FOMO).
Meehye Lee, based in South Korea, has been exploring the influence of social media on communication and consumer culture since the 2010s. She collects and categorises image posts and visualises the spread of common behaviour driven by social media trends. Lee’s work demonstrates that the popularity of certain places is more related to the images taken there than to their uniqueness or history. Places that offer a hip selfie background quickly become “must-visit sites”, with the selfie providing evidence of the “perfect life”.
For her new production National-d, Lee has recreated a selfie spot that is currently popular in South Korea in the GfZK building. She invites visitors to take a photo of themselves in this artificial environment and gives them “Ten Rules for Your Best Pic”. Lee thus addresses the difficulty of wishing to belong to a certain community or group whilst retaining one’s own individuality. Her new work raises several questions: How far am I willing to go to look good on social media images? What is real in the staged images found on social media? And above all: can I ever be free from the desire to do what you do, what others do?