Q. Nice to meet you. Please briefly introduce yourselves.
Yewon: Hello, I’m Yewon Ryoo and I am currently in Grade 12. I study illustration as my major.
Chaeyeun: Hi, my name is Chaeyeun Ahn and I’m a 12th grader. I study fine art, especially painting.
Jinee: I’m Jinee Park and I’m in 12th grade. Although I’m not planning to major in art, I have a great interest, which is the reason why I decided to do an art exhibition for my senior project.
Caroline: Hi, I’m Caroline Kim and I’m in 12th grade. For my senior project, I created a huge art collage based on the story of the Chinese zodiac. I’m interested in the cultures around the work, especially the Chinese culture, because I lived there for a long time.
Q. You two have different fields of art as your fortes. What inspired you choose that specific field?
Yewon: I didn’t expect that I would take illustration as my major. Originally, I wanted to become a game concept designer, however, I realised that my art style was different from the style that was valued in game concept designing, so I chose the field that was most related to my style, which was illustration.
Chaeyeun: My mother enjoyed oil painting since I was in the elementary school. Going the art academy was my daily routine, so studying art was a natural phenomenon to me without one specific trigger that initiated my interest. From the elementary school to high school, I realised my talent in fine art when I compared myself to other people around me.
Jinee: Since I was young, I wanted to have my own house and design my own place to make it a part of my ‘self.’ Even in these days, I’m willing to design the interior of my future house.
Caroline: As I attended to CDS, I tried to incorporate many “making” projects in my academics. The first time I made a collage was when we had to do an English project based on “Heart of Darkness.” While I was doing the project, I enjoyed making the collage and thought that it would be great to create a collage for my senior project. Also, I wanted to give a visual appeal to the audience so they could see and enjoy.
Q. Was there a theme that you wanted to focus on for this exhibition?
Yewon: My art pieces are all incorporated in the calendar that I created. Because my works are usually small, I attached some black frames around each work to give a focus, like people usually do in photography exhibitions.
Chaeyeun: My works don’t centre around only one theme but are rather divided into several topics. For example, my self-portrait has a theme of “home,” as you can see from three houses in the background. It exhibits by childhood dream of living on a grass field with my two siblings. Other than this, there are three pieces with the theme of “unpleasant conditions,” and a still life work.
Jinee: My theme is “uniqueness.” I didn’t want my house to be a simple building that people usually see in their daily lives, like those rectangular ones. I wanted some rooms with different shapes, like triangles, and make them unique.
Caroline: My artwork is based on the story of the Chinese zodiac. I thought this story would be the best way to get people interested in my work because every person has a different Chinese zodiac sign. Also, it was the easiest and most interesting story that I learned in China.
Q. How long did it take you to create all the artworks and prepare the exhibition?
Yewon: I spent about 17 hours in total. Actually, I was preparing other works for this exhibition that were purposefully created with the “school’s style,” but I wanted to purely enjoy the creation of the works in my style, which was more focused on the use of pens rather than many colours, so cancelled the previous plan and started a new one. I also spent some time with the print shop due to some printing problems.
Chaeyeun: It took about 60 hours to create the works and do the exhibition. The still life work required so much elaboration that it took the longest time, more than 20 hours. Also, I generally draw slowly, so I think this is one of the reasons why it took a long time.
Jinee: It took about 22 hours. I had difficulties with the programme that I used, “Home by Me,” because it was hard for me to figure out how this worked. Aside from technological issues, I also spent some time coming up with the blueprints for the interior.
Caroline: I spent about 37 hours and 5 minutes to create the collage and 2 hours to paste the work on the gallery wall. The pieces kept falling off so I had to re-tape them several times.
Q. Out of many beautiful pieces, which one stands out to you?
Yewon: The piece on January stands out to me. Unlike other pieces that I improvised right away, the January illustration was a piece that I always wanted to finish up. I have numerous pieces that I started and didn’t put a final touch, and this illustration was one of them. After seeing it countless times in my drawer for about a year, left unfinished, I kind of became attached to the piece.
Chaeyeun: The portrayal of an old man from the series of “unpleasant conditions” stands out to me. I usually create realistic works with pastels but I decided to take a challenge to try a rough style. The outcome was satisfying, and I could feel the pride that I won the challenge whenever I saw the portrayal of the old man.
Jinee: The design for the main bedroom stands out to me because I actually wanted to have this room in the future. In addition, the walls are covered with bricks and the room itself is especially bigger than other rooms. Although it’s a bedroom, it has many things inside, like bookshelves that allow people to read and rest. These unique aspects make the room particularly stand out to me.
Caroline: All the animals are my favourites but I spent the longest time designing the cow. The Chinese zodiac story begins with the story of the cow and the mouse, so I wanted the cow to be really nice. I searched up some images from the Chinese paper cutting to get an inspiration for my design.
Q. Please give your final words to the audience of the exhibition.
Yewon: I hope you enjoy our exhibition! My calendars are on sale also, so remember to buy one before they are sold out.
Chaeyeun: I would like you to keep the feeling of the artworks in your heart by the time you leave the gallery. Thank you!
Jinee: I hope you get inspired by my works. At first, it might be hard to figure out how my works are set up, but once you get used to it, it will be a lot of fun.
Caroline: Come and see my artwork, and experience the Chinese culture! Thank you.