Editor´s Note: Artist of The Week Interviews is a series of artist interviews curated by Art Throng-a global contemporary art curatorial think-tank whose mission is to make art in all its expressions available across cross-cultural platforms. In these weekly interviews, we´ll be covering noteworthy artists from across the world, in different mediums of artistic expression from illustrations to design, sound to performance, photography to portraits, sculptures to motion. Here is our second artist of this weekly series- Sung Jik Yang.
Meet Sung Jik Yang, a Korean Modern & Contemporary artist, living in Los Angeles, California is the Official Selection for the Art Throng Artist of The Week.
1. Would you define yourself as an expressionistic figurative painter?
I am not sure that I am an expressionistic figurative painter. I just like to make good images.
2. You often compare yourself as a painter to a psychologist. Believing that portraiture is the most honest way to show other human beings and that human faces primitively represent who they truly are. Could you elaborate on that, please?
In Korea, people believe physiognomy. It is the culture of predicting someone’s character based on facial features. When portraying people, I have to find an aspect of the person. I don’t care what I see is true or not. It is not an objective thing because it is completely my point of view. I think that is the most fun thing about portraying people.
3. Your works demonstrate the physical, emotional, and psychological structures of people. Most of your painting subjects are the people you know?
I love painting people who I know in person such as my friends and family. Sometimes I use memory or work from the scrapbook.
4. Can you tell our readers about your Solo Show, ‘Portraits’ that was exhibited at the Eastern Gallery in LA in 2019?
I had my first ever solo show at Eastern Projects in LA. I have been painting my school friends since when I was a student at Art Center. The title “Portraits” means the celebration of the person who posed for me.
5. You were born in South Korea. What was it like growing up for you? Are there any traditions, elements, or rituals from your home country that have influenced you in your work?
I am not sure. I started art at a relatively late age in America. I almost had no art training background from Korea. The memory of my childhood in Korea is vague. It might influence my work in some way.
6. You received a BFA in painting from Art Center College of Design in 2018. How would you describe your journey as a painter so far? What is it that inspires you the most?
I had difficulty from my school at first because I had no knowledge about art. However, I met so many great professors and talented friends who inspired me so I naturally fascinated with painting.
7. Are there any future projects or collaborations you are working on or would like to?
Right now, I am having fun painting the guy named Wyeth. I met him from ArtCenter and drew him then I realized I want to make images of him. He has a unique character and I see various aspects of him.
8. What do you think will change for the art world in the post COVID era?
I have seen many galleries have been exhibiting and selling their art from the online and making new attempt due to the COVID-19. Artist always wants to show their work in real life, especially true for the painter. The system may change, but I wish it could be like before.
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