Artistic Excellence 2013 | Honorable Mention: Yunsung Jang

New York

Yunsung Jang, Portrait of Mother #1, oil, 96 x 84.

Yunsung Jang, Portrait of Mother #1, oil, 96 x 84.

What inspired your winning entry? I was just thinking about my family, and I wanted to express my emotion toward my mother.

Where did you study art? I have a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and a master’s degree in fine arts from the New York Academy of Art.
How would you describe your style? 
I like to use realistic description of form and texture to convey the humanity of my subject.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you? Most people think I am kind of shy, but I’m actually an open book.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Be thankful. Dream high. And don’t give up.

What is your pet peeve? When drivers don’t respect pedestrians.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? I would like to be an animation director, or I would want to be a musician.

You paint still lifes, landscapes, and 
figurative works. What do you favor? 
I favor figurative works. I like the volume of the human form and organic textures. Leonardo da Vinci said that the eye is the window of the soul. I like to construct the figure as a mold to receive the subject’s spirit, which I can feel but can’t quite touch.

What artists, living or deceased, have influenced your work? Michelangelo and Antonio López García are the most influential.

What impresses you about other artists’ paintings? The painting that has not only the picture but also an emotional, internal quality. I’m impressed by hard work and deliberate effort, like Michelangelo’s enormous frescoes and Rembrandt’s self-portrait, a timeless effort.

When you are not painting, what do you enjoy doing? I like to watch animation and movies and to ride my bike around Brooklyn. I also like to read. I hang out with my friends, go to see art openings and visit museums. My favorite museums in New York are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan Library & Museum, the Frick Collection, and the Brooklyn Museum.

This story was featured in the December 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art December 2013 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!