Suyun Son is a visual artist living in Raleigh, NC. Son’s work of art, “Rise Up”, is on exhibit in the Imurj Main Gallery exhibit, GLOW. Son discusses her art, her creative process, and specifically “Rise Up”.
Q: Describe yourself & your artistic style.
A: “The world offers itself to your imagination.”
I believe the world is beautiful. We just need to pay attention. Art is a way of paying attention.
My art expresses the joy of that attention. My style can be called abstract-expressionism, and each work differs where it leans more, abstraction or expressionism. But I do not see my art as merely expressing my emotions. I am trying to have others see the beauty of the world and you help others see when you can express well what you see. My medium of expression is art.
Q: Describe your art/piece that is on exhibit at Imurj.
A: Rise Up. I wanted to give hope to people who see the painting. In midst of so many tragic stories of divisions, racism and poverty, I wanted to embody the unbreakable energy in our hearts and when we come together. I am a Christian and the story of resurrection has always been powerful to me, that death is not final. That even in midst of death, new life can emerge, that we can rise up, again and again.
Q: What inspired you to create this piece of art?
A: I felt a deep sense of despair settling in our city and in our country because of the tragic stories of police shootings, racism, generational poverty, broken families, harsh partisan politics, and fear-mongering nationalism. Despair is a funny thing. It pretty much guarantees you will get what you fear. I wanted to encourage people to keep practicing hope through kindness, acceptance, dreaming, and striving for development and justice.
Q: What’s the process of making your work?
A: I draw and sketch images. I print out colors and test them with other colors. I try several sketches. As I try to bring the different images together, I think about the focal point. Where do I want the eyes to go? Also about composition. The space relationships between the various images. I also think about texture, what type of texture would reflect the emotion of the work and what material would best produce the texture I desire.
When I paint, I converse with the painting that begins to emerge out of the canvas, I ask questions, listen. It feels like developing a new friendship.
I also pray through the whole process. I feel creating art is like God creating the world so I ask for Spirit’s help and inspiration.
Q: Does local Raleigh/NC culture inspire or influence your art?
A: Yes! This city loves arts and loves its local artists. I am inspired by the local artists who reflect the openness and the diversity of the city. I feel like I’m in a community or a family of artists, challenging and encouraging each other.
Q: Why do you love what you do?
A: When I do art, I feel mysterious power. It has no sound. It doesn’t move. Yet, the image creates an experience, a whole world to experience, or rather experiencing the world in a different way.
Art is also a way to connect with the world. It’s a powerful and fun way of self-expression. And, just as every art piece never turns out as planned, this self-expression is more like self-discovery. Every time I paint, I get to find more of myself.
Suyun Son’s “Rise Up” is on exhibit in the Imurj Main Gallery until July 29.