Emily Young goes loose, not controlling, in collage art Jun 18 2013
U.K.-based artist to participate in ‘Mind The Gap’ exhibition through June 27

Collage is quite a familiar form of art in Korea. The art technique is widely taught at classrooms to nurture creativity.

One reason for collage’s popularity is the fact it is very “controllable.” All the materials are there, and the artist can manipulate the ingredients and reassemble them exactly however they want. In the early 20th century, famed artists such as Picasso, Braque and others adopted the method to realize images that were only available in the virtual world, or in their heads.

But Emily Young, a pop artist who has been delving into the world of collage over the past couple of years, defies the common notion of the genre. Instead, she seeks to capture the moment of “chance” and let go of her control of the piece to reap greater beauty stemmed from coincidences.

“Trans Liquid Project #3” by Emily Young (Emily Young/Mind The Gap)

Her latest project, “Trans Liquid,” starts with the artist’s drizzling of oil-based ink on water. Because of the unmixable nature, the oil creates a pattern on the water surface rather than being dissolved into it. Emily Young took photo of each image, printed them out, cut them and then glued them onto a large piece of paper. Whether intended or not, the gathered images resemble a bouquet of flowers. The artist then added the image of a vase, a fish swimming in the water and a butterfly, depicting a vase full of unique flower patterns with witty details.

“In the world full of control freaks, I wanted to explore the world of uncertainty. While the results of most artworks are quite predictable, with artists’ fingertips making out exactly what they want, I wanted to go loose, let the oil paint find its way on water. All I could do is to bring my camera and capture the moment of that change,” the Britain-based artist said in her interview with The Korea Herald on Friday in Seoul.

“Instead of trying to ‘control’ the working process, I chose to ‘surrender’ to the surrounding environment and conditions, which reflects my lifestyle of trying to find the balance between the two elements,” she added.

Emily Young speaks to The Korea Herald in Seoul on Friday. (Chung Hee-cho/The Korea Herald)

The journalist-turned-artist is participating in the upcoming exhibition “Mind the Gap 2013” at Won Gallery in southern Seoul, which opens Tuesday.

The annual art exhibition held by noted British exhibition organizer Mind The Gap will feature seven collage artists including Emily Young to show the 21st-century interpretation of collage.

Laszlo laureate Patrick Bremer’s portrayal of classical-looking people or Colin Brown’s citation of historic figures from famous paintings or photographs as well as Jonathan Meyers’ oddly repetitive images of certain animal or product species are expected to draw audiences’ attention.

Ciara Phelan’s fairy-tale images look as if they had popped out of Vogue magazine while Romanian duo Irina and Silviu Szekely’s vintage sepia-tone reassembly of photos and paintings are reminiscent of Salvador Dali. Julia Trigg’s colorful arrangement of Arabic numbers also brings people back to the heyday of collage arts ― the 1960s and ’70s.

“With collage being a familiar school of art to the public we hope people will get to grow their interest in art ― not only in pop but fine arts, too,” Emily Young said.

“Mind the Gap 2013” is held through June 27. The gallery is closed on Sundays. For more information, visit www.mindthegap.kr.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)

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