For this week’s artist conversation, I had the pleasure of speaking with the talented and creative Kathy Yoon. Her show is displayed in the Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery, and is called “So Many Me’s.”
When walking into the small gallery, small white figures lay in the middle of the room. The figures look small and cute, either having red, white, or black button eyes, but something about them is not as whimsical as they seem. Each figure is different, but all of them appear to have a common theme: sadness. Despite their cute appearances, each white person seems to have something wrong happening to them. One of the figures is shown to be sad in the fetal position, while another is looking up sadly at the ceiling to what looks like a lost red doll (which happens to be my favorite piece in the gallery). Others appear happy, but something about them is not entirely right. From viewing the pieces, I was immediately intrigued.
The artist, Kathy Yoon, a Ceramics major who is currently in her last semester at CSULB, said that her artworks were inspired by her own experiences in life. Also, in her figures that were made of porcelain clay, white rose clay, under glaze, and some yarn, Kathy wanted to portray the emotions of sadness, depression, silliness, playfulness, and frustration. She also wanted people to get a sense of who the artist was (her), and to relate to the different pieces. Kathy started the project about one year ago, and it took about two to three weeks to make each figure. When asked which was her favorite piece, Kathy answered that the one holding the red balloon in the corner was the figure she related to the most.
Besides working with ceramics, Kathy, who is a Garden Grove native, said that she wants to go into character design and to work with animation/entertainment studios. Despite going into another field besides ceramic, she would still like to continue to make her own art and display them in galleries. As for her art origins, Kathy has always been interested in art, ever since she was a child. When she went to college, at Cypress college, she took basic drawing classes, and loved it. Yet, when she took a ceramics class, she was hooked. Kathy especially loved making objects out of clay because she loved being able to make 3D art, instead of that which was flat and two dimensional.
Personally, I related to Kathy’s gallery enormously because it portrayed real life. Not everything is rainbows and butterflies, and even when everything looks fine, nothing is really as it seems. Cute things can be depressed sometimes, while the happiest can be the saddest. Besides being based off of reality, I really enjoyed Kathy’s art style because it reminds of Tim Burton’s style, which she admires as well.
Well, I really liked Kathy’s gallery and I hope to see more work from her in the future!
To see more of Kathy’s work and works in progress, check out her instagram: kathy.c.yoon