Artist: Yeri Hwang
Exhibition: Within Us
Media: illustration and kinetic sculpture
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist
Yeri is a senior at CSULB and this is her last semester, so congratulations to her! She is currently working on her BFA degree in the School of Art’s of Illustration and Kinetic Sculpture Program. She used to live in Torrance and had to commute back and forth but fortunately, she has lived in Long Beach for the past 6 months. I asked her how it is now living in LB and she said it was much easier and giggled a little. Yeri sometimes thinks about going to grad school but other times she just wants to get school over with it and get a job. She really believes that art is limited to a lot of people and for those who don’t have a background in art, it’s hard for them to really understand it or even get a sense of what it means so for her show she wanted to help people really understand art with or without a background in art, and let it be for everyone. She loves to write narratives and stories and said stories speak to us so this is her way of writing to us.
Yeri’s artwork seemed very structured and all of the work had a story to it and if followed in the correct order, the whole show tells an overall story. All of her works were interactive and it was so intriguing to actually be a part of the art. It makes sense when Yeri says that “we are the heros, the foes, and the gods” because we get to interact with the art, we are basically in charge and in control. Her artwork ranges from covering a sensor light to allow a piece to move back and forth to writing down your sins and what you’d like to be forgiven for. Yeri did mention that her art showcase took only about 2 weeks and it was very last minute since she didn’t know what to do until last minute. For all of this being done in 2 weeks, it definitely seems like it took longer because these are technical artworks and they aren’t just on display but have to be working while on display. She said that they didn’t work before when it was opening night.
For each of the artworks, they had a story and meaning to it. I really loved how if you followed the artwork in order, rather than going to the first one that might look more interesting to you, it tells a narrative that you can narrate. Starting off with the two gods touching their fingertips and an LED shining once the fingertips touch, it means that this is where we start off and how we’re born. For that piece, you have to gently cover the sensor that looks like a button to have the piece move forward and back. As you follow along, there is a little fetus with what looks like an umbilical cord that’s elongated outward and it’s rested in a mold of a hand. There are pens and little pieces of paper out for you to write your name and the meaning of it. Yeri said with this piece it’s to show how our parents or relatives give us our names and it’s something that we can carry on with us and impacts a lot. I totally agree with her and I didn’t think of this as much until after seeing this piece. Lastly, another one that stood out to me was the last artwork that was an altar that had a drawing, I believe Yeri drew, and it had broken glass everywhere with a few candles scattered over the altar and the ground. I really like this piece the most because it’s about how people have made mistakes and they can carry those mistakes with them forever and think they can’t be forgiven for them. With this altar, it allowed me and whoever else that had sins or mistakes that were made, to be forgiven and it’s really about forgiving yourself because you are your biggest critic and fear.
Yeri’s artwork show was probably my favorite so far because of how connected everything was and it was all through a narrative told by her but we are the characters within her story, hence her title of the exhibition “Within Us.” I really like how she allows us to be the heroes, foes, and gods. She allows us to have a sense of imagination and one that I never knew we could have through art. This was the first art show I could be so interactive with and it was honestly super fun. It was cool to see how many of her things it was less complex to make than others were but as a viewer viewing through the art and being to interactive with it, you have no idea how they could’ve done until you ask the artist themselves. When I asked Yeri how the first piece was made, the one with the two gods touching, she simply explained it was a sensor that was light sensitive and once you cover the top that had the sensor underneath, the light gets covered/trapped and that allows the piece to have movement; and with that, it seems easy to understand but actually being the engineer behind it can be hard. She said that that piece worked just last minute and she was glad since it is her beginning piece.