Artist of the Month: Ziesook You

A sit-down discussion and look at works by May's artist of the month, Ziesook You
May 18, 2023
Artist of the Month: Ziesook You
The CAMP is pleased to present and feature for our May artist of the month, Korean artist Ziesook You, a more recent arrival into our collective roster. We wanted to be able to get a more in depth look at the inspiration and creation process that Ziesook takes into her transformative floral arrangements, taking a spin on traditional portraiture and the reasoning behind the multi-faceted and layered photographs shes made her own.
When did you know that you were an artist? 
  Since childhood, I have always dreamt of becoming an artist.  The world is full of beauty and creating something new is  fascinating. I also love film and the cinema very much and so  becoming an artist has allowed me to become an independent  film director, and photography is a part of that.  
Photograph of girl surround in flowers and sunflowers, covering her face
Pictured above: Ziesook You. Scent of Texas 07052022.
Is there an artist that you feel inspired you to become an artist?  If so, who and how? 
  Sophie Calle is a true inspiration to me. Her ability to turn her  own experiences into thought-provoking and meaningful works of  art is a testament to her talent and creativity. As an artist, she  challenges me to look at myself and my relationships in new and  unexpected ways. By exploring the intersection of art and life, she  shows me that there is beauty and meaning in even the most  mundane aspects of our existence. Her work is a reminder that art  has the power to transform our lives and connect us to something  greater than ourselves." 
Do you have a routine when creating art? What does your set up  process look like? 
  I start my day with a conversation with nature. I observe the  beautiful nature that God has made. When I start a new project, I  think about how and what color to express the thoughts in my  head. It is scheduled, but it is also captured based on the  emotions and encounters of the day. I write in my diary right after  work and check my photos. Sort by year, color, and subject.
Where is one place you’d like to travel to?  
  One destination that has captured my interest for my art project is Broq-pa in Nepal, where I hope to travel and immerse myself in  the rich culture while capturing the beauty of the Broq-pa women  through my photography. 
How do/have your observations of people change across time  and place? 
  Observations of people across different times and places have  greatly influenced my understanding of diverse cultures and the  importance of forging connections. As I engage with individuals in  various settings, my perspective broadens, and I develop a deeper  appreciation for their unique customs and ways of life. My observations of people across time and place have shown me the  immense value of understanding and respecting the differences of  cultures. By striving to be a friend and spending meaningful time  with individuals, I have gained insights, formed connections, and  deepened my understanding of the world we share. 
How would you describe your relationship with nature?
  I have always been influenced by nature. The beautiful world God created always speaks to me and gives me a unique and special  impression. In particular, I have always been fascinated by color. Even  without form, the beauty of color itself and harmony with other  colors always gives me excitement. The colors expressed in my work  are traces of what I learned from nature.  
What new things have you learned while creating with nature?
  Creating with nature has expanded my understanding of beauty, harmony, interdependence, and the cyclical nature of existence.  These lessons go beyond artistic creation and offer profound  insights into the human experience, reminding me of the inherent  wisdom and inspiration that nature has to offer. 
Where do you find inspiration?  
Nature has always held a profound influence over me, continually  captivating my senses and leaving a lasting impression. The  wondrous world that God has created speaks to me in its own  remarkable way, evoking a sense of awe and inspiration. Among  the countless marvels nature offers, I have found myself  particularly drawn to the captivating power of color. 
Photograph of woman in pink, face covered in pink and red flowers
Pictured above: Ziesook You. Scent of Austin 08102022P.
Color, even without form, possesses an inherent beauty that stirs  my soul. The way colors interact and harmonize with one another  creates a symphony of visual excitement within me. I am  constantly amazed by the endless possibilities and combinations  that colors can create, evoking different emotions and moods. In  my artistic endeavors, I strive to harness the essence of these  colors, translating their vibrancy and harmony onto the canvas, or  on the paper. As I continue to explore the realm of colors, I am  reminded of the intricate tapestry woven by the hands of nature.  It is a reminder of the beauty that surrounds us, a reminder to  pause, observe, and immerse ourselves in the wonders of the  natural world. Through my art, I aspire to capture and share the  profound impact that nature's colors have had on me, inviting  others to experience the joy, harmony, and unspoken language  that lies within the realm of color. This hope is found specially, in  the case of my Scent of Broq-pa project, I am moved by what I  learned about a small village located at the end of the Silk Road in Nepal named Broq-pa. In the Nepalese culture,  flowers symbolize love, happiness, and appreciation for God. 
Broq-pa’s women are committed to growing flowers in their  garden and decorating their hair with flowers every day. My  desire to share the spirit of Broq-pa with people through my  artwork was the inspiration for my series, Scent of Broq-pa. I believe flowers can bring a piece of happiness to people's  lives. Even if the flowers are ephemeral, the flowers are still  blooming in my artwork. 
Which is or was your favorite piece of your art? 
  One of my favorite pieces of my art is titled Scent of Broq-pa 11072017. This artwork holds a special place in my heart as it  encompasses a memorable encounter during my travels in Iran.  During my time there, I had the fortune of crossing paths with a  young boy who caught my attention with his unique sleeping  pose. As I observed him, it seemed as though he was lost in a vivid  dream world, creating a sense of intrigue and wonder within me.  This encounter became the catalyst for my artistic journey, igniting  a spark of inspiration that would guide me forward. 
To capture the essence of that moment and the dreams it evoked,  I embarked on a creative endeavor. I carefully collected a hundred  dandelions, each one representing the potential for countless lives and new beginnings. Combining the image of the sleeping boy  with the collage of dandelions, I sought to convey the power and  possibility that lies within dreams and aspirations. In Scent of  Broq-pa 11072017, the dandelions serve as a metaphor for the  multitude of paths and opportunities that await us. Just as the  delicate seeds of the dandelion disperse and take flight, so too do  our dreams have the potential to bloom and shape our artistic  journeys. This artwork holds a significant place in my collection,  not only for the aesthetic composition but also for the personal  memories and dreams it encapsulates. It serves as a reminder of the transformative power of encounters and the endless  possibilities that reside within the realm of art. 
Black and white photo, face of a child covering their ears made by using images of dandelions
Pictured above: Ziesook You. Scent of Broq-pa 11072017.
Which is your favorite museum/art space and why?
  One of my  favorite museum/art spaces is Museum Insel Hombroich, in  Nuess, Germany. There are several reasons why this place holds a  special place in my heart. First, Museum Insel Hombroich offers a  unique experience of enjoying art galleries in the midst of  expansive nature. The museum is located in a serene parkland,  allowing visitors to immerse themselves in a peaceful and tranquil  environment while exploring the artworks. This harmonious  combination of art and nature creates a serene atmosphere  conducive to reflection and appreciation. Secondly, Museum Insel  Hombroich is one of my favorites because of the way artworks are  installed in a maze of blank spaces. The museum's minimalist  approach allows the artworks to take center stage, emphasizing  their beauty and creating an immersive experience for visitors.  The spacious layout gives each piece room to breathe,  encouraging contemplation and a deeper connection with the art.  Thirdly, Museum Insel Hombroich seamlessly integrates art,  architecture, and the natural surroundings. The museum's  buildings blend with the landscape, creating a harmonious  coexistence between human-made structures and the organic  environment. This integration adds a layer of tranquility and  enhances the overall aesthetic experience. Lastly, Museum Insel  Hombroich offers a variety of restaurants that offer natural and  organic food: After exploring the art and nature, visitors can  indulge in a culinary experience that compliments the overall  philosophy of the space. This emphasis on natural and wholesome food adds another dimension to the visit, fostering a holistic and  enriching experience. 
What do you want the viewer to gain when encountering your  work? 
  I believe flowers can bring a piece of happiness to people's  lives. Even if natural flowers are ephemeral, the flowers are  still blooming in my artwork. My portraits are of a variety of  different, ordinary people. It is my desire for each person to  
see themselves as beautiful as the floral image of which they  have become a part. I want the viewer's gaze to go to the  flowers, not to the face of the model. I want the human form  to disappear and become a human vase. It is like the flowers  and people have become one inseparable image. 
What is it like to create with your daughters? 
  The Twins Project, which began in May 2016, has evolved into an  extraordinary artistic journey. Through captivating photos and  videos, I aim to showcase the seamless harmony between nature  and the innocence of children, symbolizing the essence of purity  itself. The project is dedicated to capturing moments of profound  joy and vulnerability, meticulously documenting the growth and  development of my twin daughters. The personal significance of  this project runs deep within me. My mother, a talented designer,  cherished and preserved the dresses I wore as a child, passing  them down to my own daughters. When my twin daughters wore  those very dresses for a floral portrait session, it became a  profoundly meaningful work that encapsulated the stories and  legacies of three generations of women in my family. It embodied  the unbroken thread of love, the preservation of cherished memories, and the unbreakable bonds that unite families across  time. In a beautiful parallel to the women of Broq-pa expressing  their love and gratitude through flowers, collaborating with my  daughters in this artistic endeavor has become a heartfelt  celebration of gratitude, happiness, and treasured memories. The Twins Project not only captures the physical transformation and  growth of the twins but also stands as a testament to the timeless  power of love, the importance of preserving traditions, and the  profound intergenerational connections that bind us together. 
If you could invite 4 artists from history to dinner, who would  they be, what would you ask them and what would you serve  them? 
  If I could invite four artists from history to dinner, I would choose  Roland Gérard Barthes, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Claude Monet, and  Gustav Klimt. Each artist brings a unique perspective and  contribution to their respective fields. Here are the questions I  would ask them and the menu I would serve: 
1. Roland Gérard Barthes: As a renowned literary theorist and  philosopher, I would be fascinated to discuss with him his  thoughts on the relationship between art and language. I would  inquire about his influential concept of the "punctum" in  photography and its implications for capturing the essence of a  subject. For Barthes, I would serve a thoughtfully curated French inspired meal that includes delicacies like escargots, coq au vin,  and crème brûlée. 
2. Henri Cartier-Bresson: Being one of the pioneers of modern  photojournalism, I would be intrigued to hear about Cartier Bresson's experiences documenting iconic moments in history. I  would ask him about his approach to capturing the decisive  moment and how he balanced storytelling and artistic expression. 
To honor his French heritage, I would serve a bistro-style menu  featuring classic dishes like ratatouille, bouillabaisse, and a  selection of fine French cheeses. 
3. Claude Monet: As a master of Impressionism, Monet's exploration  of light and color revolutionized the art world. I would be eager to  discuss his techniques for capturing the fleeting effects of nature  and his fascination with landscapes and water lilies. I would  inquire about his artistic philosophy and how he found inspiration  in the changing seasons. To pay homage to Monet's love for  nature, I would serve a garden-inspired feast with dishes like a  fresh salad with edible flowers, grilled salmon, and a vibrant fruit  tart. 
4. Gustav Klimt: Klimt's sumptuous and decorative style, exemplified  by his iconic "Golden Phase," would be a fascinating topic of  conversation. I would be curious to learn about his artistic  influences, his use of symbolism and allegory, and his unique  portrayal of the human form. To match Klimt's opulent aesthetic, I  would serve an indulgent menu featuring dishes like truffle risotto,  roasted duck with a rich cherry sauce, and a decadent chocolate  mousse. 
By gathering these four influential artists, the dinner table would  become a captivating space for intellectual discussions, artistic insights,  and the exchange of ideas. Each artist's unique perspective and  contribution would create an enriching and memorable experience,  enhanced by a carefully curated menu that reflects their cultural  backgrounds and artistic themes.
Photo of girl with yellow bandana and pearl earring, surrounded by flowers
Pictured above: Ziesook You. Scent of Girl. 2021.
If you'd like to see more of Ziesook's works, you can find her artist page hosted by us by clicking here, or find her on Instragram through @ziesook or by clicking here as well.
We hope you stay tuned for our next discussion with our roster of artists, and always be on the lookout for our latest exhibitions and events from The CAMP Gallery.

About the author

Gabe Torres

Add a comment