We had the good fortune of connecting with Yong Sin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yong, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
When I was growing up in Korea, I loved literature especially playwrights. Often, I ditched a class ended up in a corner of bookstore until it’s closed and got on the train to see plays. I was reading Beckett, Cocteau, Sartre, Dostoevsky, Camus, Kafka, Krishnamurti, Yi Sang. Loved mimes, monologues, and enjoyed getting soaked with bucket of water from a play, “Offending the Audience.” And then when I was 18, my family immigrated to US. I thought I could pursue & study philosophy, so within 3 months or so, I took philosophy classes at community college and I flunked out all of them. I couldn’t speak a word of English! At that point, I veered toward art because art was so natural to me throughout my childhood. I drew all the time. It was so natural that I never took art seriously. At Otis, I realized I could pursue philosophy through art. And I’ve been pursuing art since.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am obsessive compulsive, so the process of making art reflects that. I work on two sets of process. I begin by painting on tape/paper/canvas, once these are dried, I cut them into tiny/thin pieces. When I have enough accumulated pieces, I paste them by random choice onto the wooden panel. These “collaged painting” process, begins with setting the goal to make something that is defined to be perfect (square, circle, Xerox, straight line, & etc.,) with knowing that it is impossible to accomplish without the measuring tools. Instead, my approach to accomplish the perfection is to use my hand and trust myself to be precise, over and over again. I’ve been interested in the process of exploring the “idea” of shapes as opposed to their measured reality. And I get excited every single project because there’s always unexpected outcome. The biggest challenge in my career is that on top of being an introvert and hopelessly shy, I couldn’t divide my time efficiently to promote my work. I’ve been an workaholic for 25 years. However this interview would be a huge breaking point in my life. And I am hoping I make sense to the readers.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Point Sal Trail which is in Santa Barbara county located near the city of Guadalupe borderline to Vandenberg Air Force Base. The trail is remote about easy two-hour hiking to the top of the cliff overlooking the ocean & back. About 20 years ago, the access road to the beach was washed out by the storm and it’s been remain closed to the vehicles but overlooking the ocean from the top is so spectacular. And then will go to Pismo then to Half Moon Bay. Here and there, we’ll stop by seafood places grab some steamed clams & mussels and drink lots of Guinness. That sounds about right for a week trip!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Being an artist isn’t so easy path in life. I have to constantly look for financial resources, exhibition venues, open studios while working at my studio day and night. It’s been unimaginable challenges to maintain the balance between my studio work and other essential stuff. In my career as an artist for 25 years, there are times that I hit the bottom of the bottom financially and mentally. But looking back, there has been some type of support from family, friends, colleagues, and collectors. This is my opportunity to say thank you to all of you.
Heeseon Choi, Tony Cunha, Gene Ogami, @dustin_thewind_, Ray Carofano