Studio Visit Book Vol. 1

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Olive Phan

About the Artist

As an artist, I represent myself as YAZZIEWONPHON. I use this name to create a character of myself– as an indiscernible multi-racial person. My mixed identity influences my creative direction and my continuous research of understanding the self. There I explore themes of the other, contamination, collaboration, mutation, horror, and beauty. I graduated from The University of Iowa School of Art & Art History in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking. I’ve shown ‘Lure’ in Iowa City at UIowa’s Visual Arts Building and Cedar Rapids at CSPS Hall as my graduating solo exhibitions. I also participated in a digital residency on Instagram with @artbeacondsm, then was featured in the All She Makes first 2021 Spring issue. Upon graduating, I used printmaking to explore textiles & fibers art, sculpture, and fashion design. At the start of my research, I became increasingly interested in bringing my prints into the three-dimensional plane. My work evolved from making sculptural prints to headdresses, and then a dress made entirely out of handmade paper. Essentially, I opened the substrate to people as the print. I started a business under my moniker and coordinated a diptych event, expressly as a fashion and textiles exhibition at The Englert Theatre in Iowa City called “Threads and Powders: An Iowan Fashion & Textile Exhibit.” It successfully debuted on September 10th of 2021 and finished with a first-issue magazine that recounts inside information about the artists, their work, and reception.

Artist Statement

My work references sensible features of aquatic landscapes with a mixed approach of science fiction and fashion design. Dark deep-sea trenches seemingly haunted by creatures that slowly traverse the floor attract prey with their bioluminescence. To look past their mesmerizing flirtations, some of these creatures reveal themselves as otherworldly, beautiful, and grotesque. I try to recreate this luring phenomenon with my viewers by introducing an element of curiosity– more so, depicting an elaborately decorated mixed breed of animals and plants in a barren space. Whether they come as prints, sculptures, or wearables, these alien forms ascribe to a deformed and fragmented emulation of the earth’s oceans. This new biome that I try to establish is a product of mutation and collaboration– of what is known to humans and the strange. Holobiome for Oddkins remarks the horrors of unearthly vicissitudes, which may appear beautiful to us. However, they are potential symptoms of something dangerously insatiable. I like to use fashion to visually convey this particular language. With The Nudibranch Gown in Paper, I reveal clumps of foul-looking blue pulp underneath a ruffled dress in rouge.

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