Week 3: Artist Interview – Yireh Elaine Kwak

Harmony and Discordance: Conflicting Landscapes

Yireh in front of her painting, "Walk in the Park"

Yireh in front of her painting, “Walk in the Park”

Yireh and Maryann’s gallery really captured my attention. It was simple, yet puzzling at the same time, as if their pieces were related and told a story. Looking at the each piece individually without much thought, some focused on the simple beauty of nature while others had a darker aura. The room was split in half. There was the “harmony” side which was full of nature of color. The other half was “discordance” which showed the industrialized cities and its pollution. Looking at both sides next to each other, you can see how they clash with one another.

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Yireh’s “Walk in the Park”

Yireh’s work represents harmony. Most of her works were inspired by her home. Where she came from there was a nature. She lived on a hill and was surrounded by flowers, trees, plants, etc. She started working on big projects such as the ones in her gallery this week about 6 years ago. Walk in the Park is her biggest work of art. It is an oil based painting and is actually 3 separate pieces. Each individually strong and when put together, it blends perfectly.

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Yireh’s “Waterfalls”

I noticed some of her paintings were really different from the oil and canvas ones. Pasture, Waterfalls, and Redlands were the three that were different. She switched on and off between her oil canvas and paper paintings because her paper paintings were a way to release some of the stress built up from the oil paintings. Each painting showed different feelings. Some showed anger and frustration, others peace and joy.

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Yireh’s “Flamingo Flower”

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Yireh’s “Succulent”

I really liked some of Yireh’s smaller paintings such as Succulent and Flamingo Flower because they were really simple and small yet held so much beauty. To me I enjoy the smaller and simpler things in life. I don’t like to get all complicated and complex.

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Maryann’s “Full Circle”

Unfortunately Maryann was not at the gallery. However, by looking at her paintings you can tell that “urban development has taken precedent over nature.” In Full Circle, you can see how people have taken down forest and dug out land to construct new cities and such. This is really sad because now a days people have very little interaction and connection with nature itself. It is ironic how we need nature to survive yet we are destroying it. Yireh and Maryann’s paintings show what is really happening. We are so blinded by all the technology and industries that we can’t see what is to come if things don’t change.

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