On Thursday I got to see artist Kathy Yoon’s clay installations at the Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery. Yoon’s pieces were made out of ceramic and clay, shaped into rounded, white figures. Yoon used other materials like yarn to make more props. Circular platforms were used to elevate the characters. Each “person” told its own story.
Yoon started off as a math major, but eventually found her calling for fine art, particularly ceramics. It all started with the ceramics course she was forced to take in junior college. She always loved drawing as a kid. She enjoyed creating new things and playing with legos or play-doh. Yoon is aiming to design characters in the Entertainment industry.
For this installation specifically, Yoon used a process called “coiling”, where you coil ropes of the clay and smoothen it out to make hollow pieces (that became her characters). Yoon created these figures as a response to her life. She She dealt with many hard things, and used her characters to explain her emotions. She told the world through her perspective, which was angry, frustrating, and painful. It helped her cope with tragic and sad moments, while her pieces simultaneously translated her feelings at the time. She hopes to connect to people through her work.
I felt connected to Yoon and her characters. Several classmates commented on how somber and angry it all was, but I know that everyone at some point hits a low, which Yoon embodied with her entire installation. I especially liked the figure with the head against the wall, or the one sitting on its head, and even the one that was holding a red, lifeless being. I know that I am in my head a lot, whether it’s overthinking and stressing or trying to shut out bad things that are happening. Yoon’s work effectively creates a reaction of emotion for the audience.
You can find her on Instagram @kathy.c.yoon