Wk3-Artist Interview-Yireh Elaine Kwak


One thing that amazes me whenever I meet artists is how different, yet equally inspiring they are. Last week, Maccabee Shelley showed me the joy his art brings him. Yireh “Elaine” Kwak on the other hand, is obviously more inspired by the nostalgia that her art brings her. Her Gallery Harmony and Discordance is a partnered show with Maryann Gonzales in which they explore the relationship of nature, and industrial society through paintings. In her words, nature is “harmonious, honest, healthy, and in tune” with the world. However, the discordance mentioned in the title is caused by the freeways, pipelines, buildings, and other sorts of man made structure that disturbs nature.

The reason I think that she is inspired by her nostalgia is her favorite painting. Her favorite painting is a triptic (3 paneled painting in which each panel can act as its own painting) piece of a landscape from the point of view of being on top of a hill. She said that this piece is her favorite because it took the longest, and more importantly, it  reminds her of home. When talking about her favorite piece, she mentioned how before she came to college she lived in a house on top of a hill, and when you stepped onto the backyard patio, you would see a view similar to that of the painting.

Another reason I think she is inspired by nostalgia is that the whole time she was talking to our group, she would bring up her past and how it has made her the artist she is today. She mentioned how she has been painting since she was a little girl, and began to pursue painting as a career when she entered college 5 to 6 years ago. She constantly brought this up to emphasize how much painting has been a part of her life.


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