Artist of the Month: Yeo Shih Yun

What inspired you to do art?

I have always been intrigued about mark-marking since my days in San Francisco Art Institute. How a mark is made, the quality of the mark- should be as spontaneous as possible. I like to combine and play with different marks by made different processes in each work.

Since 2001, I have been exploring the creation of marks using household brooms, frozen ink cubes, balls, water-guns, balls, toys like spinning tops, watering cans filled with ink and poured from a distance, remote control cars toy robots and lately trees. I see them as my collaborators. I came across interesting works by Tim Knowles one day – he did a series of drawings using pens attached to the tips of tree branches. I was inspired by this idea and wanted to do it my way by using different types of brushes and ink instead. By tying the brushes on the trees, and at the mercy of the wind only, I have given up control.

In return, the rewards are beautiful marks of absolute freedom and honesty of the moment. These marks created are then selected by me, scanned and digitalized, re-composed and then transposed to silk-screens. The silk-screens are then screened onto linen, creating paintings. This second stage becomes a collaboration between the trees and me. The trees offered the initial marks, and I work with them to create new paintings with new compositions.


Who is your favourite artist and why?

John Cage and Robert Rauschenberg. They collaborated on the piece,’ Automobile Tire Print’. Rauschenberg pasted 20 sheets of drawing paper into a scroll, which he laid down on an empty Fulton St one Sunday, and he inked the rear tire while Cage drove his Model A in a straight line along the paper.  This work inspired me to do my roller blades painting in 2001 and many more works using non-traditional tools till today.



What made you want to explore “time” as a theme for your works?

Time is life. Time is art. Time is universal. Time is common to all human life. I find that time is a very intriguing concept.

My goal is to depict ‘motion’ & ‘life” in my works.


Heritage Trees Celebration Series No.1

Heritage Trees Celebration Series No.1


Your works are mainly in black and white. Is there a reason you are focused on these two colors?

I fell in love with ink in my 1998 LaSalle Collge of the arts foundation year, never having used ink before. We had a class and the lesson was to use ink to depict ambiguous space. During the lesson, I experimented with ink, getting different effects by mixing ink and water on watercolour paper.

This first experience with ink excited me so much that when I went to the San Francisco Art Institute for my Post Baccalaureate Program (Painting), I had a deep desire to explore ink as a medium. Through that one year, I grew to appreciate it even more, admiring the basic yet strong quality of black as a colour, its boldness and infinite possibilities.


What are some of your upcoming works?

Large-scale commissioned work for a philanthropic organization in Hong Kong this year.

Next year, I would also like to explore more works using music and graphite power in the near future. I also plan to put together a monograph of works I created since I started my art career in 2002.



Heritage Trees Celebration Series No.3

Heritage Trees Celebration Series No.3

For more information and more artwork from this artist,
click on the link to view the artist profile.


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