We had the good fortune of connecting with Yue Yu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yue, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
‘Regret nothing’ is the quote on a key tag I got from the ‘Distant Lands’ bookstore when I first moved to Pasadena. When I recall the crises and dilemmas of my past, present, and future, I have always been able to solve them. Despite the circumstances… it’s always been about making hard choices at each crossroads, having transformational moments, and finding myself. Cinematographer Affonso Beato (and frequent Pedro Almodóvar collaborator) taught me lighting with the ‘Gestalt’ philosophy, about “seeing things through an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts,” mirrors my view of the world. So, taking it further, I used light in my stories. My short narrative debut is about a drama institute student who can see auras–light emitted from those around her. Years after, I serendipitously encountered a Vietnamese American friend, Lina, who claimed to be able to see my aura. Mine was violet, which she said represented visionaries and those with a sense of hope and optimism for the future. Using visual arts, as the means to self-fulfillment is the way I find purpose and meaning with everything. Building my character and future by using the only means I know-how–through the visual–and not living a life with regret. That removes the worry and any fear of living a life without meaning. It’s a process, ‘regretting nothing.’
We love your whimsical and compelling visual narratives. As a multi-media artist, please tell us more about your art. We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been a highly international visual contributor and media professional in the design, fashion, and entertainment industry over the past decade. My dedicated visual works featured in miscellaneous magazines, such as Esquire, GQ, Architectural Digest, Bazaar, Eastwest, etc. I was blessed to witness the golden years of traditional media but my career plateaued at some period, and the fame gradually faded out. There are two main turning points in my art route. The first one is that I got trained as a visual creature by Conde Nast. The world-class media tycoon had budgeted to collaborate with renowned masters from every field to carry out large productions that integrate both East and West (essentials of both cultures). Since then, I pursued both production design and art direction. My eyes opened to an international perspective–a kaleidoscope–breaking through the borders between fashion and design. I developed a stronger connection to ‘juxtaposition’ on creative approaches: Tradition and Modernity, Reality and Illusion, and many seemingly opposite existences may have a unified possibility at a more ‘beyond level.’ The other turning point: systematically studying film (the ‘art of making’) at the ArtCenter College of Design. As a multimedia artist, I specialized in crafting inspired visual narratives through the art of storytelling. I honed my expertise in balancing art direction, visual design, prop styling, production, set design, etc. I was driven to create pieces with thoughtful narratives and compelling visual aesthetics, to craft cultural artifacts that would stand the test of time.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Buy a LA LA LAND city guide from Eyewitness Travel… Our tour starts from the Bixby Creek Bridge in Monterey. Then enjoy a seashore night and stay at the Mariposa Room in Seven Gables Boutique Hotel. Early the next morning, we head to the Sunset Strip, settle in the room with a broad balcony (where Alfonso Cuarón slept with his Oscar) at the Chateau Marmont. Taste one of the best steaks in town at CUT by Wolfgang Puck. Take a must-see trip to the Griffith Observatory at magic-hour–and be amazed by the City of Angels starry night view from the terrace. As a beach lover, visiting the evocative Venice Beach is my first recommendation. Buff guys and California skateboarding boys, finding a retro lifeguard booth, chill with the ocean breeze and take in the view. Enjoy daytime wandering at Malibu Village, and be mesmerized by the bioluminescence phenomenon at night. Lake Hollywood Park is another picturesque spot where people can immerse themselves in the authentic LA lifestyle surrounded by picnic lovers, all kinds of dogs, and the iconic Hollywood sign. Melrose Place and Melrose Trading Post at Fairfax High School are central spots for the LA fashion addicts. Visit the Getty and Descanso Gardens has to be in the itinerary (remember to make a reservation at The Langham on the way to Pasadena). And of course, in the one and only movie town, Warner Bros. and Paramount studio tours are a must. Lastly, if permitted, head down to Orange County to enjoy the palatable cuisine at Tai 2 Chinese Sauerkraut Fish and enjoy fireworks at Disneyland.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My biggest role model Winifred Lai–the ‘Muse of Hong Kong’ lived only 46 years, but her life scope meant so much more than the years she lived, to the culture and arts of the world. As a cultural and spiritual icon, her lifestyle, values, and morals influenced different generations. Her book ‘Reflection, Reflections’ brought me into a new world of science, vision, and adventure concerning numerology and astrology. This leads me to believe in the law of attraction in the universe; giving me hope in cause and effect. People should know their root number, destiny number, and master number in the life path–it can only inform and help us. I will never forget those doomy and desolate days when she guided me in making a vision board with all of my future wishes… some of which are now true. I feel many people overlook the importance of when they’re born, in terms of times, and how the media impacts us as creative individuals. But I would also be remiss to not include all of the people (family, friends, loved ones) and life experiences in my life–all of which contributed.
Chengqian Li, Ao Zhang, Cong Zhou, Chen Man, Pencil Bryan, Li Zi, Yuanting Liu, TanTan, SiLiang Ma, Lively Lai, SiLiang Ma