SF State Graduate Gives Back to the School
September 9, 2005 9:51 PM
SF State graduate Sun K. Yom revealed her solo exhibition, “Edge of Sa-Lang” (“Sa-Lang” means love in Korean), and her contribution to the Cesar Chavez Student Center in honor of its 30th anniversary this month at her reception Thursday.
To celebrate the student center’s anniversary, Yom, 32, created “Rejoice,” a unit comprised of 30 squares made on canvas with gesso and oil paint.
Approximately 37 layers of gesso are on each square and are painted with a lot of gold and yellow hues.
“These are very positive colors. The student center is very vibrant and important and I wanted to use very organic and radiant color pallets,” Yom said. “It’s organic in that it represents the student center.”
Yom has been a part of the student center for two-and-a-half-years. She explained that she wanted to contribute something to the place that “is precious to me. I appreciate what it [the student center] does and what it represents, therefore I wanted to give back something that has given me so much.”
The name “Guy” is also in one of the squares. Yom explained that Guy Dalpe is also a reason for her contribution to the student center because he is the managing director, or the “top guy who runs the show.”
Yom mainly paints with oils, frequently adding in diatomaceous earth to create texture and using a variety of tools such as spatulas, sticks, nails and gardening tools to enhance and modify the texture. She prefers to use a wooden painting support which allows for many layers of paint. Her focus is primarily abstract with occasional figurative elements.
Yom began painting when she was 8. She was born in Korea and came to the United States in 1980. Yom said she was immediately drawn to the arts and the spiritual liberation her creations gave her once she left the male-dominated culture of her hometown.
In 1989 she received a scholarship and grant to the Art Institute of Chicago’s Early College Program and went on to receive a full one-year scholarship and grant for The Chicago Academy for the Arts in 1990.
Yom completed her studies and earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at SF State and now thrives as a painter in her home studio in San Francisco.
Though many intense and vibrant colors are used in her work, the use of red hues is apparent in all her paintings.
“I love exploring the color red. It has different intensities,” Yom said.
Japanese major Christina Lopez said she enjoyed all of the paintings at the exhibit.
But “Entanglement” was the one she liked best. “I like the colors. There’s lots of earth tones. It reminds me of a warm sun rise; the start of another day.”
Lopez, 22, explained that she thought it was more sensual than the other paintings. “It’s got more happier colors.”
Craig Howell, Yom’s husband, was also present at the reception. Howell, 34, said he loves and enjoys Yom’s work.
“Art gives her the outlet to express herself. She has lots to say and lots to share and sometimes it’s hard for her to put things in words, but her paintings help her express her feelings.”
Yom explains that a piece generally begins with a memory or the surfacing of a current experience which she works out while gessoing, sketching and sometimes writing a short poem expressing the feelings the memory or current event causes which she later displays along side the finished piece.
“When I paint, I’m trying to translate a moment or feeling. My paintings are very fluid with lots of layers. Art is my passion and emotions are the flavor of life.”
Yom’s exhibit, “Edge of Sa-Lang,” is on display until Oct. 8 in the Art Gallery in the Cesar Chavez Student Center.
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