Yumi Vong - Artist

Matt Tuohy
By Matt Tuohy
Friday - August 22, 2008
| Del.icio.us


Yumi Vong

Yumi Vong - Artist

Sometimes, being able to do what you love for a living can become tedious. Case in point: Yumi Vong, also known as “Miss Yumi.”

“I’m kind of an artist by hire,” laughs Vong. “It started as a hobby, and became my life - every job I’ve had since (graduating college) has been art direction. But I’m trying to get into another career field so that I can focus on art as something that’s more sacred.”

Vong draws her inspiration from various forms of literature and little things in conversations she has with family and friends. “Just talking about different situations in life,” she says. “I don’t directly convey ideas into my work; it’s more abstract. Like, I’ll be thinking of a subject and I’ll have a type of work come out that’s kind of reminiscent of the idea.” She encourages others to look at her work and come up with their own narrative.

Vong's works Earth Day
Vong’s works Earth Day

As far as a certain style is concerned, Vong couldn’t quite describe her own. “I love oil, I like wash, I do all sorts of digital animation - but I’m leaning back toward painting and printing now,” explains Vong of the mediums she prefers. “I think there is a certain style. I just can’t tell what it is, though.”

Vong is one of 16 female artists featured in the Roses and Revolvers: The Lady Killers show held Saturday, Aug. 23 (see story below for more on the exhibition). “I have a two-piece work, with two women in it,” says Vong, hardly doing justice to her warm-colored, feminine-inspired works. “They’re ink drawings with some water-color.

“I chose these pieces because when I draw figures, which I rarely do, I usually focus on women,” she explains. “This specific show was created for and is being pulled together by some of the most up-and-coming and creative female artists in and around Oahu.”

Vong attended the Maryland Institute College of Art, graduating with a degree in fine arts. “I love being able to inspire people with my artwork,” she says, mentioning how she feels burnt out when it comes to original ideas. “I’ve been in the creative field for a long time, and I want to separate the two.” Since her father also is a graphic designer, she felt the broader degree would help her creativity.

Tokyo Girl
Tokyo Girl are examples of her ink work. Other works will be displayed at Prolifik’s art show

Vong is considering going back to graduate school for international relations or peace studies. “Everybody laughs at that, but I think it’s really important for our time period.”

For more on Vong’s work, visit her website: www.yumivong.com.


Roses and Revolvers

“Why didn’t I think of this before?” asks Jessie Domingo of atypical Living, brushing his unruly black,hair out of his face as he talks excitedly. “It’s such a great idea and nobody’s done anything like this until now.”

He’s talking about “Roses and Revolvers: The Ladykillers,” an all-women art show being held Saturday (Aug. 23) to celebrate the completion of Prolifik’s, an underground T-shirt company, remodeling.

“I always wanted to do something different,” says Domingo. “And I thought to myself,‘has anyone ever done an all-female art show (on Oahu)?’”

Sixteen carefully chosen local and national female artists will hang their work on the walls of the store. A portion of the proceeds raised will go to the American Cancer Society, which is a personal soft spot for many involved in the show.

“All of us have been affected by cancer in one way or another,” says Domingo. “I’ve lost a friend, a couple of relatives have been afflicted by it, and I’m sure others can say the same.”

An inside look at Prolifik, an underground T-shirt company
An inside look at Prolifik, an underground T-shirt company

Because Hawaii is a small place, the artists were chosen based on Domingo’s ties within the underground community. “Fortunately, for me, about 60 percent of the artists are really good friends,” says Domingo, mentioning that the out-of-town artists were a surprise. “The two big artists I’ve gotten from the Mainland are super-cool. I fully did not expect them to even get back to me.” for Domingo when he approached the shop’s owner, Micah Kagihara, with the idea. “I was like,‘Micah, you have this spot that’s super dope, in a totally goofy location. We’ve got to use this,’” Domingo recalls. “It was kind of a nudge to get him to clean up the shop.”


Kagihara, who also works in MidWeek‘s pre-press department, says none of store’s merchandise will be displayed or for sale the night of the show out of respect for the art and artists. “I want it to be about the artists,” he says. “If people want to come in and buy a shirt later, that’s fine with me.”

Artists leaving their mark at the event include Miss Yumi (see above profile), Lady Julz, Amy Wagner and Phallic Mammary.

“She’s super-cool and her centerpieces are dope,” says Domingo about Phallic Mammary, whose pieces resemble ... well, you know.

Prolifik and atypical Living, Domingo’s blog that updates the community on underground events for music, art and fashion, sponsors the show.

Prolifik is located at 939 McCully St., and the show starts at 5 p.m. Cost is $10 at the door, and $5 if you don a Prolifik shirt.

For more information on Prolifik, visit www.prolifikprojects.com. For more on atypical Living, visit www.atypicalliving.com.


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