MAGAZINE 02

A World of splendor through her colorful brushstrokes

CHINESE CONTEMPPORARY ART NEWS, Issue 42, July, 2008

 

She was an actress and has appeared in many advertisements. She is an avid traveler and loves fashion design, photography, interior design, as well as knitting. It’s hard to imaging such a talented woman would devote herself to painting full-time. She has waist-length long curly hair, a slender contour, and a pair of sparkling eyes. When she talks about art, she sparks sincere emotions. This is Kimi Yeh – a woman who holds enormous passion towards life and art.

Known for her rich brushstrokes and large scale paintings 
When asked about why she decided to become a full-time painter, she said back in her fashion design days, there was painting involved, but it is a different mindset “to paint a fashion design is to create for others”. She needed to complete herself. To be able to create without shackles in the art world, Kimi Yeh finally chose to become an artist who is complete, because of her love for freedom. In the world of art, she could express her affection towards beauty. “I have explored all kinds of media, including sketching, watercolor, and ink and wash, but they were not powerful enough for me. Only the rich, abundance, and heavy brushstrokes of oil painting could express such power” said Kimi Yeh.

Kimi’s painting covers a great range of topics. In her eyes, creativity should not be bound by any themes. She would paint still-life, landscape, portrait, and abstract paintings. Generally speaking, Ye’s early paintings had a tendency towards realistic styles. She said “Many famous artists in history started with realistic paintings, which are sort of a foundation, but right now, I prefer abstract art.” She thinks realistic artwork is a basic step, anyone who has taken painting training courses could paint something “that resembles the real thing, and looks exactly like the object’s replica”, but “abstract painting is more personal; it comes from every individual’s imagination and feeling, so it could really express personal qualities”. The intriguing part is, a slender delicate woman like her prefer large scale paintings. Quite a few people find it hard to believe a work on such a big canvas came from a female artist. “My studio is located on the first floor of the street corner. Many come and go around here, but I never allow anyone to take a tour in my workshop. One day I was working in the studio, and someone came in to ask if I was the creator of these paintings. He was very surprised when he found out the truth. Because he told me ‘I pass by here every day, and I see your work all the time, but it never occurred to me that something with such tremendous momentum came from a female artist.’”

Inner feelings unleashed through abstract painting
Looking at some pictures, listening to a nice CD and she regroups herself. Ye suddenly transformed into a naïve child facing a blank canvas, allowing the melody and the inner voice to lead the way. Her footsteps are like brushstrokes dancing on the canvas; her emotions reincarnate into a thousand colors. A blessed soul and poetries could travel in her exquisite imaginary world, turning a moment of joy into eternal beauty. The colors on Kimi’s painting are always so bright and vivid, like a handful of sunshine – resembling herself, because for her, darkness does not exist.

Besides abstract paintings, her series of self-portraits also have very unique qualities: most personas in her paintings do not have a complete face – some holding a big bouquet of red roses, so passionate like fire, while others have cascade-like long hair that takes up most part of the canvas, showing a real yet abstract face. She also has another painting capturing a woman glancing back. Her hair covers a part of her face, only showing a pair of bright and beautiful eyes. It looks like she is gazing into the eyes of the beholder, seemingly lost in thoughts, and having a thousand words on her mind. This leaves the people with endless imagination. In Kimi’s self-portraits, the eyes and hair are the main focus. Her eyes speak to you about the secret of the creator, and her hair on some level symbolizes and emphasizing the female status. Kimi thinks that although we live in a world of gender equality, most men still call the shots in the workplace. As a female, Ye uses painting to announce her existence to the world. With her unique standing, she exhibits the different beauty and value of women.

Curtain up for Royal Art Gallery
Lately, the talented Kimi Yeh has another new title: gallery owner. In the coming August, Royal Art Gallery will be officially opened at Taipei East Area. It covers around 300 square meters. Kimi Yeh is the one behind the interior and installation designs. The gallery has sumptuous Baroque-style interiors. It is just like her personal Salon. The gallery’s opening exhibition will allow us to take a glimpse of her works, which are rarely seen by the public lately. Many of her large paintings will be on display.

According to Kimi Yeh, there are many ways to run a gallery, but at Royal Art Gallery, it will be more open and lively, just like how she never drew boundaries for herself. Even having this gallery, Kimi still intended to hand over the operation to professional management. She, who treasures freedom so dearly, will continue to live her life as an unconstraint artist, and keep on traveling. She will use her keen feminine eye and unique intuition to wonder in the land of art and creation, so she could paint more marvelous sceneries.

Kimi Yeh is a freedom creator. She was born with a sensitive observation and an artistic eye, pushing her to break boundaries. She can see through the women and their lives with a true and unpretentious feeling. Kimi was once a fashion designer. After finishing her studies for fashion design, she came back to Taiwan. With years of experience, her heart and inspiration drove her to create beautiful oil paintings one after another. She has a passion for her art career that makes time stood still; even God would give her mercy and return her the days of her youth. After these years have gone by, she became more composed and peaceful. In her, you can see passion and peace blend together yet contradict with one another. In all of Kimi’s paintings, one could see the tenderness, emotions, transformation, and reincarnation of women, as well as how women see the world.

Her painting sometimes is like an erupting volcano, so filled with intense colors. At times, it is like a world of silence with warmth and cold. The two temperatures created a kind of harmony on the seemingly perplexed brushwork and the abundance of oil. We can’t help but think of all the women in world who craves for love. Kimi uses her painting to fill in the romantic that is in the missing chapter of life. “Whenever there comes a hard time in life, I look at my art supplies, and it’ll summon my passion for this wonderful world.” Her artworks reveal a strong feeling of love and emotion. With one glance at her creation, it is hard to connect the dots to Kimi Yeh. Only an artist with a pure heart and overwhelming passion could transform a simple canvas into infinite imagery, and at the same time, create an abstract painting with expressing a simple meaning!

Kimi Yeh is an autobiography type artist. She said “I am most lucky for knowing my best friend – oil painting, so I can go into ‘a conversation with myself’”. “No matter how much you give in, they always pay off on the canvas.” The time spent in her studio is blessed. Every flower or leaf has become an inseparable part of her life. The sunshine outside the window, the pitter-patter sound of the raindrops, or in the music she plays. In this space, everything is art. Have you ever seen the Tuscan sunshine or the melancholy of Berlin? Have you ever heard the ethereal music of Chopin? Can you imagine finding these beauty and sensation in the paintings? Kimi Yeh send out an invitation to you, welcoming you to Royal Art Gallery to immerse yourself in an aesthetic atmosphere!