There’s something strangely familiar about Hiejin Yoo’s paintings. Painted using bold color palletes and large canvases, they present snippets of Yoo’s daily life and observations, on which she zooms in carefully.
“The paintings are set in spaces that can be read as either interior or exterior,” she explained in an interview with Art of Choice, “their ambiguous, hazy atmospheres locate them in a world that is primarily psychological. This allows me to reference the day-to-day moments that I find surprisingly infinite and beautiful.”
Born in Germany and raised in South Korea, Yoo’s creative journey took her eventually to the United States. But like most artists, her creative passion sparked much earlier on, when she was only 7 years old. “My mother wanted to teach me several different things, for example, music, art, or ballet, but I was only interested in painting and drawing,” says Yoo.
Her work is set on large abstracted planes of color, on which she lays bold, layered marks. According to Yoo, her approach to painting is very much informed by that of Henri Matisse. “Matisse’s paintings contain countless everyday elements that he returns to repeatedly to find something new in each encounter,” she notes. “Those objects create an intimacy and interact with the space that is filled with a variety of patterns and the white of exposed canvas.”
According to Yoo, she similarly observes objects to find their representational imagery, extracts an abstraction from it, and then creates an imagined space, which is personalized to convey the unique qualities that she perceives. Follow her Instagram page for more color and insight.