Meet four emerging artists whose work is available in Artnet's Buy Now: Summer Special

Meet four emerging artists whose work is available in Artnet’s Buy Now: Summer Special | Pro Club Bd

For their latest exhibition, Artnet’s Buy Now platform has teamed up with art dealer William Leung to present 14 paintings by four up-and-coming artists. Yurie Hayashi, Michelle Nguyen, Minami Kobayashi and Yumeno Goto each have a distinctive style, ranging from dreamy to tRompe l’oeil compositions to highly textured blends of sand and oil paint – but their shared identity as young, aspiring Asian artists and their exploration of dark, existential themes pulls a common thread.

On the occasion of the Buy Now: Summer Special, organized in association with Will NYC, we spoke to these four artists about their respective themes, inspirations and artistic processes. Read on and don’t miss the opportunity to collect these works, available until August 10th.

Yurie Hayashi

Yurie Hayashi, It’s in the air (2022). Available for immediate purchase in Buy Now: Summer Sale.

How did moving from Japan to the United States affect your approach to making art and the subjects addressed in your paintings?

My own personal journey influences both my thinking and creating through themes of diversity and inclusion. I come from a middle-class Japanese family who have lived in the same house since my great-great-grandfather’s time. But when I’m in America, I’m seen as an immigrant, a minority, or a little Asian. Many comments about my race or cultural background have scarred my insides. I use these emotions to build my models, which serve as emotional dumps.

What role does the human body play in your work?

I believe in Shinto and practice Buddhism and I believe that every creature on earth has a soul. When the body dies, the soul can begin a new life in a new body, which can be human, animal, or flora. This does not depend on how someone lived in their previous life, but on how “peaceful” they were during death. If someone doesn’t let go of their loved ones, wealth, pets, ego and regrets, they will no longer be human in their next life.

I see the human body as a vessel; So human skin works like a plastic bag, and everything inside is similar to a grocery bag, only organized differently by the structure of the bones.

Which artist in the canon of art history has most influenced your own practice? Which of your contemporaries inspire you the most?

I paint in the so-called trompe-l’oeil style. Trompe-l’oeil is a French term that translates to “deceive the eye”. I’m interested in how the things we subjectively perceive of the world are shaped and filtered by our unique mind and body.

I absolutely adore Chiharu Shiota’s work. She explores human existence and basic human concerns such as life, death, and relationships through her large-scale “thread” installations, which include a variety of ordinary objects and external memorabilia, as well as through her drawings, sculptures, photographs, and videos. My work and hers differ visually, but our two sets of works have a certain darkness behind them.

Michelle Nguyen

Michelle Nguyen, Cockfight I (2022). Available for immediate purchase in Buy Now: Summer Sale.

Her work is rooted in the processing of grief, trauma and ecological despair. How do you approach these themes in your visual language?

I have had debilitating anxiety since my early teens. I think my obsession with death can be attributed to my propensity for worry and the death of both of my paternal grandparents within less than a year. I don’t think anyone around me was emotionally or verbally able to talk to me about it at the time. My family considered the subject of mortality and death too morbid and taboo to be discussed openly.

To fuel my fascination with the issues and to understand my own grief, I sought out a selection of literature. Some lyrics that touched me in my teenage years are by Seamus Heaney Open Ground Poems (particularly “Mid-Term Break” and “Blackberry-Picking”) and the short stories “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried” by Amy Hempel and “People Like That Are the Only People Here” by Lorrie Moore. The vivid imagery and complex emotions imbued in these works still haunt me today, and my interpretation and understanding of it continues to change as I grow older and experience more of the world.

That being said, books and podcasts are very important to my art practice – I think I get my best ideas from them. I find it liberating to create visual works initially inspired by non-visual media.

What is the importance of food and livestock in your work?

Food has always been a very important aspect of how I connect with the people in my life. The differences in experiences, cultural values ​​and languages ​​were a real source of conflict in my family. Although it was very difficult for us to communicate how much we cared for each other, I knew I was loved because I was so well fed. All the food we consume has a story. Some of the most indelible dishes were the result of difficult times when people had to make the most of what they had. While watching my Grandmother and mother cook I felt the dedication and care with which they prepared our meals.

I also have food-related reasons for using wildlife and farm animal imagery in my work. I’m genuinely interested in the fine line that exists between living beings and flesh, and that part of our aversion to this process stems from the fear we have about our own morality. I have always felt a special bond with Hahne in particular, stemming from their relationship to the year I was born and the activities I learned about from my father as a child. My interest was further piqued when I learned that the chicken was not originally domesticated for its meat or eggs, but for cockfighting. Birds were treated and admired as sacred creatures in many early human societies their fighting power. My father dabbled in cockfighting as a young boy and remembers lovingly wrapping his bird in a blanket at night while he slept to help him conserve his energy. He loved the bird and was terribly sad when he died in battle.

Minami Kobayashi

Minami Kobayashi, A confession on Hampstead Heath (2021). Available for immediate purchase in Buy Now: Summer Sale.

What role does color play in your work? How do you go about choosing the color?

My colors are the vehicle of my feelings. They reflect how intense my emotions are and describe my condition. I paint about vulnerability and worry, and my light palette expresses a desire to embrace these things.

Her work is simultaneously figurative and narrative. Where are your scenes from? Do you work from reference images or memories or just from imagination?

In the last five years I have occasionally made images related to historical paintings or TV shows related to my practice to express my own interpretation and therefore my own identity as a Japanese artist in her early 30’s. For the most part, however, my work springs from imagination and personal experience. I occasionally look back at photos I’ve taken before to remind myself of what was there—like a type of vegetation, a quality of light, or a pose.

Which artist in the canon of art history has most influenced your own practice? Which of your contemporaries inspire you the most?

Japanese Ukiyo-e Early 18th century prints and the late 19th century Nabi group in France have inspired me so much since my youth.

Yumeno Goto

Yumeno Goto, Unleash an Arrow of Light (2022). Available for immediate purchase in Buy Now: Summer Sale.

What role does tactility play in your work? What do you use to achieve your textured compositions?

Using a textured mix of sand and oil paint, I make raised paintings reminiscent of rock faces. This technique allows me to represent how paintings can extend into the real world.

Which artist in the canon of art history has most influenced your own practice? Which of your contemporaries inspire you the most?

I am inspired by Hieronymus Bosch and Gustave Moreau. Bosch’s rounded female figures and dark worldview influenced me, while Moreau’s work interests me for its references to mythology and use of color. A visit to Gustave Moreau’s studio museum in Paris inspired me to bring oil on wood panels.

Also, Masato Kobayashi, who I studied under, inspires me with the way he envisions the outside of a painting frame and the wild way he applies paint.

What images or objects do you look at while working?

My studio is in a lush forest. The green light and vegetation feed my imagination and the textures of my paintings are inspired by this natural environment.

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