The Studio Works series features three more artists I'd love to introduce to you. Have a read below and find out all about Bell Nakai, Sun-Kyo Park and Lin Yen-Liang.
Bell Nakai's work uses candy-coloured hues and dynamic compositions to invite you into a world of cuteness and anger that she feels coexist within pop culture. She creates her own pop art style by combining delicate flat painting with dynamic touches that she adds using brushes, her fingers and sponges. Her paintings are not just portraits but they share stories of daily life through the bespectacled eyes of a rebellious aged-girl figure.
Inspired by Japanese Shoujo manga cartoons most facial features of the character are hidden. While on the surface her character feels filled with happiness and cuteness, you can see dissatisfaction hidden behind her glasses. Revealing a kind of sadness and anger Nakai feels about the lack of freedom to express honest feelings or thoughts in today's world. Each work also features digital elements. Hashtags, pixels, emojis and phones are meant as warning signs for our ever-growing dependance on screens. “My girls, they may be just little children but they are both of you and me in reality”.
Sun-Kyo Park work centres around his fascination with the relationships between people. He sees individual and collective life as deeply entwined. However, personally he is quite shy and evasive and the experiences that inspire him are often indirect ones that he encounters through films and books. The figures he depicts feature his signature graphic style and are often based on himself, his friends or strangers. By repeating their poses, their unique qualities stand out like a game of spot the difference.
Park uses these non-specific characters to avoid depicting any singular emotion or social class. As such, he subverts traditions of portraiture which historically pays homage to the rich and powerful. The most important thing to Park is the person in his work. This it not to say that "who the person is" plays an important role but rather that it’s important to see how the figure relates to the painting. The characters he paints are like actors in his story. They can be everybody and nobody.
Lin Yen-Liang paints portraits featuring expressive characters that each have their own personality. His work shows children and animals displaying a wide range of relatable feelings. Capturing these emotions comes natural to Yen-Liang. He like to sketch out his works like the storyboards for comics or films. Unsurprisingly, these are also things he's heavily inspired by. Manga and anime, as well as the work of other painters like those of the Superflat movement heavily influence his work.
Yen-Liang also collects children's toys, their playfulness helps his practice and help him channel the figures in his paintings. For inspiration for his animal characters he also does not have to look far. His studio is filled with them. Yen-Liang is very fond of animals, he has pet birds and a cat that are always keen to make an appearance in his works.