The average person will physically meet around 10,000 people in his or her lifetime. One might be flabbergasted and intrigued by this fact. But what’s more extraordinary is that there is a quantitative limit on how many close relationships we can maintain out of those thousands of people: Dunbar’s Number. An anthropologist named Robin Dunbar essentially postulated that humans have cognitively evolved to be able to maintain up to 150 close relationships. That cognitive cap allows our relationships to be unique and personal, and no one else will experience the particular memories you’ll have with those people in your circle. It strikes me that my relationships with loved ones’ also affect their personalities and thoughts. Telling a hilarious joke everyday to a particular friend could result in a pair of goofy, whimsical friends.

Through this collection of diptychs and triptychs, I desire to share brief yet impactful, nuanced yet convincing, funny yet deep memories in my own life. The portrayal of a dynamic relationship between me and them is the most crucial part: I affect them, and, in turn, they affect me. I genuinely wonder how they might impact others as I visually share my relationships with them.

Also, please note: the dialogue may not be totally accurate, but it is what remains in the mind of the memories of the artist. One might even suggest that these (perhaps false) quotes are another memory that bonds the artist and those close to him together.


Daniel Jeon is a Korean-American artist from Queens, New York. He is currently a senior at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. He began his photographic journey by focusing on foliage and urban and forest landscape photography to share a dichotomous perspective between urban and suburban life. He is currently approaching photography with complete open-mindedness—willing to explore various art forms  ranging from nontraditional portraiture to still lifes. He explores these genres as a student in the International Center of Photography’s Teen Academy Imagemakers program. He is looking forward to attending Dartmouth College in the fall of 2022.