In Sun You’s multimedia painting and sculptures the artist uses a mix of everyday objects and craft materials to create provisional tableaus that celebrate women’s work, domestic ornamentation and the language of abstraction.
Polymer clay, one of the artist’s primary materials, typically is used in craft techniques like bead making. The association with domesticity and baking in her work is reinforced through You’s hand-building techniques of rolling, pinching and firing clay in her home oven. In all of You’s works, the artist draws beauty and humor from humble materials and creates compositions that reflect the joy and fragility of the world.
Sun You describes her upbringing and language in her work this way: Growing up in South Korea we had a floor culture-meaning we would eat, study and sleep on the floor. This has definitely influenced how I work in the studio, which in turn affects how my art looks. I make most of my works on the floor, arranging compositions without considering orientations like up or down. Also my experiences of writing and translating between two languages plays into the forms I use in my wall pieces. I sometimes make Hangul alphabetic characters that are arranged in configurations that are linguistically meaningless but suggest textual possibility.
Sun You is a Seoul born, New York based artist. You has exhibited her work in galleries and museums internationally. Recent exhibition venues include Geary, NY, The Pit, CA, Step Sister, NY, Queens Museum, NY, The Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul, Scotty Enterprise, Berlin, Virginia Commonwealth University , VA, and The Suburban, IL. You was an artist in residence at Hunter College, Ace Hotel, Marble House Project, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Triangle Arts Association, Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral and the Sharpe and Walentas Studio Program. She was also selected as Artists to Watch in 2016 by WIDEWALLS and 18 Artists to Watch, by Modern Painters, 2015 and a recipient of AHL Grant, Korean Art Foundation, 2018.
You’s artist book, ‘please enjoy!’ with Small Editions, was acquired by the Whitney Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University and the NY Public Library.
You heads President Clinton Projects, a curatorial project and co-runs a non-profit gallery, Tiger Strikes Asteroid New York. She is also a co-founder and core-member of An/other New York, a collective of Asian and Asian American visual artists, writers and curators. You is teaching as a visiting professor at the University of Oregon 2021-2022.