Hiejin Yoo’s paintings serve as an abstract diary of her daily observations. Mundane events and everyday moments are translated into large, semi-figurative oil paintings on canvas, depicted with large abstracted planes of color and bold, layered marks.
“The paintings are set in spaces that can be read as either interior or exterior, their ambiguous, hazy atmospheres locate them in a world that is primarily psychological,” reflected Yoo in an interview with Art of Choice. “This allows me to reference the day-to-day moments that I find surprisingly infinite and beautiful.”
Her paintings look like a mixture of realism, illustration, and digital art, arranged to focus on specific reflections – her personal history splashed on canvas. According to Yoo, her main inspiration remains Henri Matisse. “His work is known for its color, abstraction, intimacy, and reminiscence of his personal experiences,” she says.
“Matisse’s paintings contain countless everyday elements that he returns to repeatedly to find something new in each encounter. Those objects create intimacy and interact with the space that is filled with a variety of patterns and the white of exposed canvas,” she added. “I similarly observe objects to find their representational imagery, extract an abstraction from it, and then create an imagined space, which is personalized to convey the unique qualities that I perceive.”
Peek inside her meditations on self-discovery: