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.
For a recent two location exhibition, This Two, You made a series of table top sculptures that loosely reference Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. The works are constructed with wire, eyelash extensions, beads, sewing needles, paper clips, razor blades, artificial plants and magnets. They are held together by gravity and magnets, in transitional constructions that vary with each installation.
You’s abstract wall panels operate as both paintings and wall-bound low reliefs. The surfaces of the wood panels are speckled with abstracted three-dimensional forms made of polymer clay, acrylic paint and interior wood moulding. In these works, color is presented as both a physical object and a spatial image.
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 is from Seoul, Korea and lives in Queens, New York. Her work has been exhibited at the Queens Museum, New York; The Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul; Scotty Enterprise, Berlin; Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond; and The Suburban, Milwaukee, among other venues. Yu’s artist book, please enjoy! with Small Editions, was acquired by the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University and the New York Public Library. You has been 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 selected as an Artist 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 is founder of the curatorial platform President Clinton Projects and co-runs the non-profit gallery Tiger Strikes Asteroid, New York. She is co-founder of An/other New York, a collective of Asian and Asian American visual artists, writers, and curators.