Week 3 // Artist Interview – Yireh Elaine Kwak //

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An artist with a view…

A hilltop view in fact. I got to learn that Yireh lives in a house on top of a hill which then gives her tons of inspiration to paint her masterpieces. She considers herself an oil painter and wants her artwork to speak of nature and it’s enemy, pollution. She named her gallery “Harmony and Discordance where she explained that Harmony is used to describe the harmonious side of nature. Where she believes that nature is honest in that it grows with exactly what it’s fed. If that plant is grown with bad soil, it will grow badly, where as if the soil is rich and good, it will grow beautifully. And Discordance was used to describe pollution rotting the beauty of nature. She used an example of a coal powered factory or even a freeway loaded with gasoline powered vehicles. She also worked with her partner where they split the work in terms of Yireh painted the more vibrant and ‘green’ artwork whereas her partner did the dirty, yet beautifully drawn, pollution artwork.

What spoke to me about her was that as she talked, I could already sense that not only does she paint her art, but live out her artwork. What I mean by that is where she seems to very realistically paint her pieces then make an conscious effort into making it known that “Hey, there’s a problem here, and we need to know about it.” I never got the chance to ask her what she wanted to accomplish from her artwork, but I could already tell that her goal was ultimately to grab her audience’s attention to the clear reality of the beauty of nature getting ripped apart by pollution… which WE are the cause of. With knowing a problem, there’s always a solution. We could ride a bike, recycle, reduce, reuse…. make the world GREEN!

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