Yin and Yang:
Celebration of Duality

Once there was a lecture entitled "Transcending Duality." Well I do love duality in life. I do not want to transcend it. I just would like to celebrate it and dive into it.

We live in this confusing world with a lot of dual elements: female and male, happiness and sadness, love and hates, black and white, light and dark, high and low, East and West, etc. If there is no female, there is no reason for being male. Like in William Blake's poems, when all people are rich and ever happy, somehow the heavens sunk, and hell starts surging. Somehow, humans can create the most beautiful and artistic songs, dance, or poetry by experiencing some hideous living situations in human history. Life surely does have duality. Thus, maybe East must meet West in the end. Actually I was adoring "Mary Poppins," Hollywood stars, and Disney movies as a cute Asian infant in the East, you know.

You might say, the world is in a beautiful balance, Yin and Yang, but for me, the world is just confusing. Confusing, but I surely love it. Seemingly purposeful life often does not make any sense. Nonsense. That is life. I think you cannot make any sense out of anything. That is life, yet we are born to fool ourselves to believe as if there are purpose, goals, etc. I reckon that this fooling ourselves is our true talent. We keep searching raison d'être, and find out there is no reason. We are born without any reasons. Just "be born." That is why life is so wonderful. If you have any static reasons, our life must be so boring. If I know what I paint beforehand, my painting must be too awful to describe. Thus this confusing act of describing my art in static words is quite nonsense, yet we want to be explained and to describe our art. Our mind searches for logic to settle our mind. Actually the world is simply just illogical. If you really are aware of it, you might become quite happy. It is very interesting for me to think that we can write about illogical, vibrant, and ever moving art with limited static words. That is why writing on Tao or "Koan," the Zen writing, are written in a nonsense manner by very much calm, wise, and trained Asian male monks. That must be the reason why I cannot understand any art criticism in art magazines. Now I get it. It should not be understood. That is very profound.

Just life is so confusing and chaotic, driving me crazy, frustrating, yet very joyful, then I really cannot think, yet keep thinking... My head is spinning, please stop me...., and then I hear, "gooooong, gooong" from the beautiful temple in Kyoto. The sound, just sound, no yin nor yang, just vibration, without any purpose nor reasons, yet somehow very soothing, makes me feel very calm, and slows me down, and I feel very clear in my mind, then I question, "was that art?"

Tao and "the Best Art"
Shen Tusn-Ch'ien, one of the old Chinese master painters, explains Taoist thoughts about painting: the art form is perceived, in essence, as an act of creation, beginning in the formlessness of the Tao, transforming in time and pattern into creation: what is captured is a universe in miniature, a microcosm. The artist creates 'this wu-wei, not forcing the brush, not thinking discursively, but moving with sensitivity in the moment. In this way, painting becomes a form of meditation, a means of discovering union with tao, an accomplishment evident in the very best art.í

February 2007

Korean-born artist Rimi Yang champions an emotionally driven style that visually explores the innermost realm of the human psyche, coalescing abstract expressionism and figural study.

Raised in Osaka Japan, the aesthetic in which she works today is the result of extensive training from notable institutions and instructors in the art world. Rimi studied Sumi-ink painting in Kyoto, Japan and attended Ohioís Bowling Green State University, the California State University in Los Angeles, the Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles, and the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. Recipient of the Marietta Kirschner Wigg Award, Rimi has exhibited since 1987 and is a contributor to the asian alternative publication Kyoto Journal.

Her compositions are borne from a method of automatic painting in which she allows her feelings to take hold of her in the course of execution. In avoiding conscious renderings of a preconceived idea, Rimi responds to the emotions of the given moment, reaching within her soul for guided inspiration as she gives form to her thoughts with the use of tangible materials.

Using oil and a cold wax medium, her canvases are saturated with patches and strokes of color that vary in tone and brightness, giving each composition a sense of profound emotion and depth. Dark areas of color recede into the background, projecting lighter hues into the forefront to create a sense of movement and emotional power. Scratching of the painted canvas with patterns optically grounds the floating planes of color. The spontaneous nature of her process inspires unexpected occurrences, often allowing the paint to drip from the surface of the canvas.

Rimi often incorporates the images of the human form in her compositions, fashioning each image from her thoughts and visions. These figural studies are often characterized by expressive, gestural renderings set amid an abstracted background, capturing the spirit and energy of the human form.

Inherent in Rimiís compositions is a sincere pathos fostered by her willingness to succumb to raw emotion and creative instinct. Using herself as a vehicle of visceral expression, she captures the most vulnerable and telling emotions we are capable of experiencing. Her body of work thus collectively leads to a universal articulation of human emotion, giving viewers visual platforms in which to engage on both personal and intimate levels.


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