I Dream Therefore I Am: Artist Spotlight on YIJUN GE
About Yijun Ge
Yijun Ge was born in Xiang Yang, in the province of Hubei, China. She received her Bachelor’s from Hubei Institute of Fine Art. During that time, she taught art workshops for oil painting, charcoal drawing and printmaking, and assisted instructors at Hubei Institute of Fine Art University.
Yijun received her MFA in painting from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California. Her work included multiple galleries across the U.S. Also, her works has been featured in art magazines in 2021, and won the first place award during art competition. Currently, she is teaching workshops at the International Art Museum of American in San Francisco.
Tell us about your work?
Yin and Yang is the basis of my visual language, representing passion and calmness. The contrast creates balance and tension, often represented through warm and cool colors. High color contrast is intriguing and is visually more pleasing than low contrast. Dreams are the inspiration for my art. The elements that show up in my dreams such as spiders, sailboats, cats, and dragons help to create a painting’s theme. They are a unique symbolic language representing larger concepts.
I begin by sketching and move on to under-painting, and at that point I am open to new ideas jumping into my mind. The process always leads to new explorations and discoveries. I explore different substrate including wood panels and canvas. Oil paint is my medium of choice, allowing flexibility and depth of color. I fill in under-paintings with big brushes, and then refine it by adding multiple layers of paint. If I stare at the piece for 20 minutes without wanting to clarify anything, then I know it’s done.
What’s your creative process like?
The reason I create art is that I am a dreamer, and sometimes my dreams are strange. For example, I dreamed about Spider, Dragon and Sail boat. I didn’t know what it meant until I found the book: “The Interpretation Of Dreams” written by Sigmund Freud. Those symbolic languages could potentially mean fear, possibility and new beginning. He believes that dreams happen for a reason and do not just occur randomly. All these dreams come from our unconscious mind, and it is like a deep well, full of memories and feelings. These memories and feelings have been stored there from the moment of our birth, but our conscious mind has forgotten them. We do not suspect that they are there until some unhappy or unusual experience causes us to dream our dreams. So the mysterious nature of dreams sparked my curiosity to create my art. Creating a dream like wonderland becomes my interests.
My reference originally comes from the Internet which I purchased. Gathering some photos are similar to the dream world, I composed them together in a scene as my art. Several steps to complete: First, draw some sketches to see which one has the best composition and color scheme. Then, write some notes about why it works and why it doesn’t. Second, applying one coat of gesso onto the wooden panel, and after it drys completely, I will do it again repeatedly until the wooden panel is covered with at least five layers. I use sand paper to smooth it out before I paint. Third, rulers are a useful tool when helping me to draw accurately. Lastly, I use pencil to mark and to finish the contour, and then blocking certain areas to separate the value. I paint things just how they appear on the surface and at the mean time, I would depict subjective emotions, showing the inner reality as it’s interpreted. The image itself might be distorted or exaggerated in some way and the expression overrides the objective representation. I use bold colors to convey emotion and feeling such as the clouds in the painting for instance, which appear brighter and more saturated than they really are.
Whats the recent work on your #Heartlist?
Daniel Sprick is a contemporary Realist painter. But from I viewed his work, some of his painting has a sense of surreal feeling. He produces meticulously executed portraits and figurative compositions whose muted palettes and sense of stillness encourage slow contemplation. His paintings feature a range of subjects, from still-life of flowers and unlikely assortments of objects, to interiors and urban and pastoral scenes. What he influence me most was his dedication to his art because his extremely realistic paintings are fantastic, I barely can move my eyes from it, even this could tell from what I posted three of his surreal painting. He is a big drive for me to create my surrealism as real as possible. When I create the last piece “guardian”, I try my best to make my focal point realistically, so I can call it a surrealism.
Joel real set off to create new realities that are beyond the real and hence surreal. He seeks complete creative freedom. An uncanny effect of his work is from the juxtaposition of a realistic painting style with unconventional, and unrealistic, subject matters, such as the animal skull (or human skull painted by Daniel Sprick). So when I generated my ideas, I paint with a horse with wings ( Pegasus), which is not common in our real world. He motived me to Exploring and excavating the depths of the human subconscious mind, because the surrealist artist is the explorer to reveal to the world, another state of being. Revealing another level of the human psyche, and trying to elaborate from the depth of the human psyche.
Find Yijun on:
Ep 38. Weaving facets of human experience into vibrant & symbolic art with Artist Phyllis Gorsen