​© All images copyright JooYeon Judy Yang

    ABOUT

    Working primarily with graphite, scraperboard, collage, pen and colored pencil, my works evoke a variety of emotional states based on a full gamut of sources ranging from beauty and joy to the grotesque. They are evidence of my merging of visual traditions wrought from my Eastern lineage and Western experience. They are weighty and twisted with interwoven foliage and I have distorted the natural into absurdity, ugliness, or caricature. Formally the size plays an important role as it represents a huge compression of time. Through using different mediums with different technical challenges, each acts as a link in the big and endless puzzle.
        Overall, they are united with ominous emotions and a subdued fascination with form under a narrative that expresses own mistreatment of life.  For instance, “a Graveyard of FMD” is inspired by the outbreak of FMD occurred in 2010 and an intensive research on a dramatic incident of foot and mouth disease. Individually I carved into twenty 18” by 22” scraperboards with the tip of knife. The central image is a graveyard of interwoven bodies of distorted, dead, decaying and living pigs and cows. Exaggerated Carrion beetles are crawling and eating the rotting flesh of dead animals while helpless living livestock are breathing their last breath. At the top of the image, there is gas released from the bodies of the decomposing animals and it flows into the sky while seven men wearing HAZMAT suits are spraying an antidote into the grave. It is inspired by Korean calligraphy and Dore’s 136 illustrations of the Divine Comedy.  

                   I’ve been developing my own invented abstract language that is originated from a contemporary understanding of materials filtered through a romantic and intuitive interpretation of my world. For instance, A Tsunami is inspired by actual massive 23-foot tsunami in Japan on March 11th 2011. I researched on a Tsunami’s characteristics, like how they are generated, what are their scales of intensity and magnitude. It is an alternate intricate seascape, which expanded to 22in by 144 in. It contains a complex architecture of different shapes of repeated waves within a 120-degree angle of perspective, where greater variety of light grey tones playfully and naturally overflows with the movement of each wave.

                I believe that through witnessing the truth through artworks and writing, eventually people will be inspired to revaluate their habitual attitudes and thinking toward a holocaust-like mistreatment of the weak. In the future, I want my artwork to be overlaid with my belief in the importance of confronting social issues that are easily forgotten or hidden due to ignorance. It is my duty as an artist to be sincerely responsible for what I create while keeping a belief that artist is always learner. Artwork is a gift, a universal language that exchanges and confronts ideals, forgotten stories and inspirations

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                “The One Nation Banknote Series” is an ongoing project that foretells stories, dealing with an idea of the Utopia and the end or beginning of the world. The banknotes confront indictments of the exploitation by the strong of the weak- taking influence from myths, religious stories and reality-they are currency for a fictional country called the One Nation. Utilizing the prediction that all nations unite as one in the future of our human race, I intentionally used real banknotes from different countries. The use of real banknotes play an important aspect in this project, because the symbols within each unique bank note carry with them an underlying resignation from all the social catastrophes that are too often hidden and forgotten due to ignorance.

            Each artwork acts as a link in the big and endless puzzle. Overall, they are united with ominous emotions and a subdued fascination with form under a narrative that expresses human mistreatment of life. Much like music has a base note on which overtones are built, so do these individual works set up an idea for the viewer to project their own version of Utopia.