Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Layered forms: 12x12 Artist May Yang

Artist May Yang's work crosses fine art and design, using a variety of media and techniques to accomplish a well balanced and visually interesting piece. For this year's 12x12 Art Fundraiser, Yang created untitled (Pedestrian Crossing), and I had the pleasure of interviewing her to learn more about this piece.

Laura Reese: What was your concepts and inspiration for this piece?
May Yang: My main source of inspiration for this piece were the materials. I've wanted to take a little time to experiment with different materials in my work and this piece is one of the first in my explorations. I had used clear mylar before in the series I created for Momentum Spotlight 2010 and was really drawn to possibilities of it in conjunction with screen printing. The next step in my mind was to move onto plexiglass, which can be used more sculpturally and can also be cut and engraved with the aid of a laser cutter. In my experimenting, pairing the plexiglass with unprimed wood balances the shiny and manufactured with the soft and the natural. The same can be said about the conjunction of the screen printed shape and the loose graphite drawing underneath it. 

What was the technical process of creating this piece?
The process in which I create my work is ever-evolving. Since I have been experimenting, my process has been a lot like putting together a puzzle. I have been handling each layer separately – working digitally to create the abstract shapes that are later cut and engraved from plexi, drawing with graphite over a photocopy transfer, screen printing shapes on to the fronts or backs of plexi. Working on each of these elements individually leaves me a lot of room to explore the variations I can get from layering different pieces on top of each other. 
May Yang, untitled (Pedestrian Crossing), Mixed media, $600

How does your design work influence your art or vice versa?
I used to keep my design work and my fine art work very separate, but recently I have found myself calling upon skills from one practice to inform the other. I only recently began embracing the computer as a part of my fine art process. The abstract forms I create are pieces of letterforms from different typefaces. These are manipulated on the computer until I find a composition that I am pleased with. Typography is probably the biggest influence that carries over from my design work. As a designer, I have a tendency to design as if I am screen printing the final piece. Elements of the design are grouped into layers and the how these layers interact with each other is very important. Subconsciously, the two have probably been very intertwined from the beginning!

Where else can audiences see your work?
Audiences can see my work (or see me working) at my studio [Flash Flood Print Studios] in the Pearl District in Tulsa. We are having a grand opening for First Friday in October!

View and bid on this artwork as part of the 12x12 Art Fundraiser September 20th, along with food, fun and 149 other artists. Preview the artwork for the one-night event and purchase tickets here:

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