"ORIGIN"1999-2003

'In the 19th century it was considered shocking that humans could have evolved from apes, yet less than 150 years later it is largely taken for granted. These images by Daniel Lee give an Artist's view of evolution.'

~Ideas that changed the world, by Fernandez-Armesto (DK)

Origin was a series of manipulated photo images which describes human evolution based on my imagination. I proposed that there were ten stages in human evolution, from the fish form (as Coelacanth) eventually transforming to reptiles, apes and humans. It was first shown at O.K. Harris gallery during June/July, 1999 in New York City, as a sequence of eleven pieces, 37.5 x 50 inches digital C-prints, along with an animated presentation.

My motivation derives from the new Millennium (year of 2000) which suggests to me the grand beginning of everything. My concept started in 1997, a few months after the New York Times Magazine gave me the opportunity to create a self-portrait for a special technology issue. I made a sequence of four portraits which showed our past as apes and our future in perspective. To take it further, I asserted that all of the mammals, the reptiles and the fishes were related to us to begin with.


~Daniel Lee, 1999
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The original animated piece of 'Origin' takes five minutes to present. It has featured in ‘Cyber 99’ International Art Fair at CCB Center in Lisbon, 1999; included in ‘Metamorphing’ at the Science Museum in London, 2002; ‘Limbo Zone’ at Palazzo delle Prigioni, Venice Biennale, 2003; 'Exposed' at Heilbronn Museen in Germany and ‘Metamorphosis’ at Kolar Art Center, Wisconsin, 2004.

Both of the 'Origin' sequence in prints and the animated piece was included in 'Hybrid', the 'Ars Electronica 2005' in Austria. 'Origin' has also been chosen as the logo image for the year (left).

"Origin" will be included in "Animal Instinct/Photo of Daniel Lee" at San Antonio Museum of Art, 2011~12.

In 2004, a 16:9 format animation has been collected by Taipei Fine Art Museum and Wellcome Trust Museum in London, 2010.


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©2011. Daniel Lee, represented by O.K. Harris Works of Art, New York. (212) 431 3600 / Nichido Contemporary Art, Tokyo. 3 5501-3203 / East Gallery, Taipei. 02 2711 9502 / Tangram Art Center, Shanghai. (21) 6299 9868