black and white csulb artist yiren kwak

ART 110: WEEK 14: ARTIST INTERVIEW: YIREH ELAINE KWAK

For this weeks artist interview, I decided to go to the Gatov-West gallery. The gallery had been named “Liminal” and was a collaboration of many artists. The artist’s within this gallery were that of a group but the only one present to be interviewed was Yiren Elaine Kwak.

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The gallery had various different pieces of work– no one was like another. It was entitled “Liminal”. According to Kwak, this gallery was sentimental in the way that it was the last showcase for her and her classmates that she had been with for so many years. Thus being the name Liminal; a changing period of time or transition.

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The gallery is also sentimental in the way that it’s almost the end for these seniors. They’ve gone from being not-so-good artists (as Kwak described herself freshman year) to being spectacular. It also shows how far they’ve come together– Kwak tells that with the school of art, she not only built networks but also great friendships with the other students who would provide her with great structural criticism. For them, this gallery is both a happy but sad ending.

Kwak also noted that this gallery was to show the transition and change of the artists from prior years to now. For Kwak, we also saw a change in this gallery from the previous one she had done a few months back.

When describing her method, Kwak says she makes what she sees her own by not only painting from her memory but also “subtracting the crap”. She usually starts off with smaller sections and sketches before she paints (even though much of her work is done with acrylic, she considers herself an oil pastel painter).

Kwak told us that the piece she did was the environment of the backyard from the house she lived in when she was child. For me, the greenery and garden-looking depiction reminded me of Grass Valley and a backyard that is much like my great-grandmother’s. It made something move inside me and I felt highly nostalgic looking at the painting.

What I liked the most about Kwak’s piece was that you could see how different her art had become from what it was months ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the different strokes and highlights she interpreted throughout the piece– giving every corner of the image a little bit of “oomph”.

Within the rest of the gallery were other spectacular pieces that I wish i had the chance to interview the artists of. My personal favorite would have to be the long panoramic shaped one that was filled with amazingly vivid color and placed near the door.

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Overall, this gallery was beyond gorgeous and shows how far each artist has come; aloe and together. I would highly recommend it to anyone else.

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