ART VOICE COVER
YEE's Disco in the Jungle Made in to the Art Voice Cover
Art Voice, LA
YEE’s work Disco in the Jungle – Forever Wild made it to the Art Voice cover.
Here is her interview on Art Voice.
Ellen Caldwell: Your photography captures bright, bold colors in a variety of ways. What
drew you to this kind of photography and art direction?
Yee Wong: I always like to use colors. I think color is one of the most powerful visual languages. It expresses emotion and makes the piece playful. It also creates a lot of room for creativity to evolve. For example, just to
play with the different color combinations, you already have endless choices. It can also make your piece stand out from the crowd if you make the right color choices. Color also brings my pieces to life and helps me to express the joy, hope, and different emotions found in my work.
EC: To follow that, could you speak to your process a bit, for instance discussing the use of powder in your “Exploding Powder Movement” series? What did you use to make it explode and how did you capture it?
YW: The powder wasn’t exploding on the set. The color powder was dropped from a device that separates the color powder and releases it at the right time in order to create this special effect. Then the image was captured at a high shutter speed to freeze the motion.
EC: The effect is really wonderful and it tricks both the eye and mind with the combination of your process and titles. What about your Disco series? In these photos, you make fluorescent signs appear to hover in various natural settings in an ominous way. Is that the case? Do you capture images of actual neon light installations or is it in fact something done with photo manipulation?
YW: In this Disco in the Jungle series, I wanted to bring a “nightclub/nightlife” aesthetic to the piece, mixed with a jungle setting to produce a contradiction between modern pop culture and the natural world. This is an experimental work that combines these conflicting themes to create a stunning metaphor that you don’t ever find in reality.
For the first couple of images in the series, I used actual neon signs. For some of the later pieces, I created the neon sign with photo manipulation. Photoshop also helped me to perfect the pictures, and give them a hyper-realistic appearance.
EC: I am very interested in the way that social media apps have disrupted the international art market by putting power into the artist’s hands. You have a large following on Instagram and Tumblr, so I am wondering how you see (or do you see) such media as impacting your art following and your marketability?
YW: Rather than giving the control over to somebody else (a gallery or an outside source) as to who will see my art, we can now, as artists, reach out directly to the audience, and show them what we are working on. That kind of access offers a lot of enhanced visibility for an artist, and yes of course, marketability. The more eyes that see your work, the larger the chances of developing a sizable following.
EC: Could you tell me a bit about your POP! Faces series in collaboration with Joshua Scott?
YW: With the POP! Faces series, I came arrived at the concept, a series of images that demonstrates the fragility of fame. I accomplished this by crumpling and destroying celebrity portraits to create the POP! Faces series. I developed the color palette and an artistic way to state the message I was trying to declare. Joshua Scott shot the images on a controlled set.
EC: What kinds of projects are you working on now?
Are you breaking away from previous series or teasing them out a bit more?
YW: I am working on more digital images, experimenting with many new mediums to make my new pieces more interactive. One area that particularly interests me is the act of projecting artwork in a more public forum, like on the side of a building. It’s both epic and playful, and I like the conundrum.