Interviews | November 11, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Yun Yao

Interview: Yun Yao
Luca Curci talks with Yun Yao during SECRET SPACES, second appointment of BORDERS ART FAIR, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.

Yun, originally from China and currently residing in California, draws inspiration from the diverse array of materials and their boundless potential for visual storytelling. Her artistic pursuits encompass a wide spectrum of themes, ranging from personal encounters to abstract concepts, all aimed at establishing an instinctive connection with her audience.

“Yun’s artistic focus is on creating illustrations that communicate a message of hope and possibility, using mixed media to bring her ideas to life. She aims to use her platform to raise awareness about important issues that are close to her heart. Representation and diversity are important to Yun, and she is committed to using her art to elevate diverse voices and perspectives.”

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Image courtesy of Yun Yao

Luca Curci – Which subject are you working on?
Yun Yao – I am currently focused on exploring mixed media techniques, particularly in the realms of sculpting using clay and ceramic, as well as incorporating found objects and resin into my artistic practice. This interdisciplinary approach enables me to immerse myself in a wide array of materials and processes, opening up new avenues of possibility and stretching the limits of my creativity. By blending these diverse mediums, my aim is to produce artworks that possess a multidimensional quality, enticing viewers to interact with the textures, forms, and interplay of materials. This ongoing exploration serves as a constant source of challenge, propelling me to discover fresh perspectives and unveil distinctive artistic expressions.

LC – Which artists have somehow had an influence on your work?
YY – Cai Guo Qiang, an exceptional artist, has left an indelible mark on my creative journey. His innovative approach to contemporary art, particularly within the realm of installation and explosive artworks, has been a profound source of inspiration, urging me to venture beyond conventional boundaries and embrace unconventional techniques. Cai’s ability to seamlessly blend traditional Chinese aesthetics with modern concepts has imparted to me the significance of merging cultural influences within my own artistic practice. Witnessing his skilful utilization of materials like gunpowder and fireworks to craft transient and breathtaking installations has emboldened me to experiment with unorthodox mediums and stretch the limits of my own imagination. Cai Guo Qiang’s visionary artistry and his relentless pursuit of pushing boundaries continue to fuel my motivation to explore fresh artistic possibilities and challenge established norms in my own work.

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Image courtesy of Yun Yao

LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
YY – One of the primary sources of inspiration for my artworks comes from attending exhibitions. Exploring the works of both established and emerging artists provides me with a wealth of inspiration and fresh perspectives. Witnessing diverse artistic styles, techniques, and concepts sparks my imagination and stimulates new ideas. The creative atmosphere of exhibitions and the varied range of artworks on display fuel my own artistic growth and motivate me to push my boundaries.

LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
YY – When it comes to creating my artwork, one of the most challenging aspects lies in translating my ideas and visions into tangible forms. Bringing an artistic concept to life requires careful thought, experimentation, and technical skill. There are instances where conveying the initial vision precisely can be difficult, and I encounter challenges in achieving the desired outcome. It becomes a journey of trial and error, demanding persistence and adaptability. However, it is through overcoming these challenges that I experience growth as an artist and find fulfilment in the creative process. The obstacles push me to refine my techniques, engage in problem-solving, and ultimately create artworks that align with my artistic vision. Each challenge becomes an opportunity for learning and improvement, shaping my artistic journey in meaningful ways.

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Image courtesy of Yun Yao

LC – What are the three hashtags essential to define your poetics that you could not give up?
YY – In defining my artistic poetics, I find three essential hashtags that encapsulate the core values and themes of my work. One of these hashtags is #resilience, representing the ability to bounce back from adversity, overcome challenges, and persist in the face of obstacles. Resilience permeates my artistic practice, reflecting the determination and tenacity I bring to my creative journey. It serves as a reminder of the strength and power within us all. Another significant hashtag that defines my poetics is #exploration, capturing my relentless curiosity and constant quest to push boundaries and discover new artistic territories. It signifies my willingness to venture into the unknown, experiment with diverse mediums, techniques, and concepts, and expand my artistic horizons.

Through exploration, I strive for unique perspectives and personal growth as an artist. Lastly, the hashtag #expression holds a central place in defining my poetics. It signifies the core purpose of my art – to communicate, evoke emotions, and spark meaningful connections with viewers. Expression allows me to share my inner thoughts, experiences, and perspectives with the world. It represents the authentic voice that resonates in my work, inviting others to engage and reflect. These three hashtags – resilience, exploration, and expression – capture the essence of my artistic poetics, serving as guiding principles that inform and shape my creative journey. They reflect my commitment to pushing boundaries, embracing challenges, and creating art that not only captivates the eyes but also touches the hearts and minds of the audience.

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Image courtesy of Yun Yao

LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
YY – The rabbits, with their charming and enigmatic presence, act as guardians of these secret spaces, encouraging viewers to reflect on the borders that exist between the public and the private, the visible and the concealed. The intricate details and symbolism within each piece invite a deeper exploration of the complexity of human experiences and the multifaceted nature of our identities. Through the exhibition, my art seeks to initiate a contemplative dialogue about the boundaries that shape our lives and the potential for personal liberation by embracing the concept of secret spaces. By inviting individuals to reflect on the power of hidden realms, I hope to cultivate a greater appreciation for the interconnectedness of our experiences and inspire a sense of wonder in the unseen dimensions of our existence.

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Image courtesy of Yun Yao

LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
YY – The “Secret Spaces” exhibition explores the theme of borders by delving into the concept of hidden realms and the interplay between secrecy and personal spaces. Within this context, my art series presents a collection of four meticulously crafted rabbit pieces, symbolizing the Chinese Year of the Rabbit.
Incorporating rabbits into the artwork aims to evoke a sense of whimsy and curiosity, while also prompting viewers to contemplate the idea of secret spaces within themselves and their surroundings. These artworks serve as visual metaphors for the concealed aspects of our lives – the hidden thoughts, emotions, and dreams that reside within each of us.

LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us?
YY – I appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with your esteemed organization. From my perspective, the services and platform provided by ITSLIQUID GROUP are invaluable for artists seeking exposure and recognition. The dedication and commitment exhibited by your team in organizing exhibitions and events centred around contemporary art and creative concepts are truly commendable.

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Image courtesy of Yun Y
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Image courtesy of Yun Yao

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