Painting with Paper by Young Shin

Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Los Angeles, California, Young spent much of her youth surrounded by art, culture and beauty, spending hours at end drawing and painting. Young received a B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in Studio/Visual Arts focusing on oil painting. She continued to follow her love of art and design by receiving her degree in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design and working as a fashion designer in NYC and Chicago.

In her body of work, melding her past experiences and passion together, Young creates abstract paintings using paper – combining elements from art, design, and craft. Technique and process are key as she unearths the essence of a particular theme, an emotion or an idea by peeling away colored paper that was first meticulously built up, applied, layered, and dried. As an artist, Young explores the concept of excavation and unearthing. In particular, she is inspired by the process of peeling and removing intricate layers in order to reveal what is underneath and between. She compares this process of unearthing very much akin to our lives, experiences, emotions, and most importantly, us at our core, as we are composites of different and complicated layers and that the truth is often hidden behind. Through the use of color and texture, she shines light on the beauty, the complexity, and depth that lie above and beneath. Young resides in the San Francisco Bay Area where she works as a full-time painter.

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Artist Statement

I make abstract paintings with paper. My work constantly examines the theme of devotion: as an artist, I am intrigued and inspired by the mastery of quotidian details through contemplation, meditation, and dedication, as I observe everyday life itself an art form and artistic platform. In my paintings, textures, physical depth, and structures lend a feeling of devotion and alludes to the time spent on each painting. 

Through my work, I aim to create paintings that are profound, contemplative, meditative, and evocative. Heavy textures created by “grid-like” patterns and lines reveal a sense of decorum and order, juxtaposed with loosely and freely drawn large geometric shapes, which give the impression of freedom and ephemerality.  My works are process and repetition driven. I begin by applying several layers of paper on a canvas; once the layers are dried, I repeat the process of stripping down the layers and building them again. Overall, my paintings have an archeological quality, as viewers can viscerally sense and see different levels and layers of paper that have been intentionally built and destroyed, leaving elaborate and complicated traces. Once completed, it is left with an intensely and intricately textured surface laden with fiber debris from paper.