Interview With Norris Yim


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What intense experience, if any, has sparked your need for continual creation? 

Painting is purely a means of self-presentation, a process of transforming my observation of others and internalizing it as creative inspiration. Seeking my own spiritual satisfaction with poetry. The self-expression is often tinged with loneliness. In order to ingratiate capitalism & hypocritical living, people are burying their original appearance to survive, and new faces replace the old ones, even using the heavy makeup becomes a new self-forgetting self, with hypocrisy and fear of life. It has spawned a series of abstract portraits that express the pity and sadness of society. Observation. Memory. Imagination. These are the principle aspects of my work. In the end, just fulfill my ambition through colours to create more Inspirations.

Please explain your relationship to pop culture figures and why you have chosen to depict them as abstractions. 

Those famous figures in pop or political, who have a big impact on many people in the world like me, influenced by their experience and story to extend and remind their life with my paintings to people. In my concept, portraits in abstraction were the alternative way to experiment with the colour, as I think realistic painting was super great for me but I just can only paint them once, and it’s the question to myself many days before I choose the abstract way. And I would have more excitement when I finished the painting with the color which I could not foresee the colour transition in my way of painting as the colour will change through my brushstroke, the fluid texture mixing is my passion in it. Then, somehow the only abstraction on canvas, I could not found the focused point to explore, but in portraiture, I still can earn the skill to depict the contour of people and the light in different ways. 


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Please explain to us the evolution of your technique and visual language. 

At first, I really love the portrait looks realistic and a bit chaos of the composition, I have made some but the texture is the way I love most and when I discover those Abstract Expressionism masters who changed me a lot about the creation of paintings, they are all full of freedom and confidence when they were working on their painting. Then, I try to start my painting without any draft and using the texture to bring out the emotion through the painting. Brighten Colour is my priority for the visual images and using the Black and white color for the main color recently as the Hong Kong political problem means violence and conscience. The big problem in our city. The colour is the way of expression of emotion.

Because your style holds texture and tangible dimensionality, does photographic or two-dimensional reproduction detract from its true nature? Or, do you feel that photos can accurately communicate your work’s essential propositions?  

Using the background with photography is a faster way for me to experiment with colour and texture. Photo backing would be a good way to start with and to make the difference in one series.


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Based on the dynamic and changing range of your stylistic expressions, has your evolution been a search for some unique voice, or, is it a style in itself to be continuously evading singular definition? 

I think I would like to improve my sense and skills for inspiring myself and the world, so it’s all about the process of the sense of aesthetics of art. And I’m looking for something new in style or possibilities to express myself. Now in many years, people would see a small difference in style on my works, and I would try to use a similar style also to express the artwork in the future.

Have you mastered the technique of harnessing the power of the happy accident? In either case, please explain why or why not? 

Accident was I really looking for it, for doing the pure abstract painting without any draft, imagination & thought, the most exciting moment is that you can discover something(like a dog) in the painting. From now on, recently painting is the colour control with big brush stroke texture and fluidic becoming a florescent portrait. 


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Do you agree with the statement that, “drawings are the bones of thought”, why or why not? 

I could not deny the statement as I study spatial design before becoming an artist, and it is super important in my life, drawings are all initialed imagination, to make it work and real, drawings are a must to show your mind and ideas. People could not miss the drawings to tell others what are they thinking even though someone who has talent presentation skills but drawing out the thinking idea is an assist for the mind through.

Your work contains political figures and poetic allegories, how do you think art can, or has aided, or even in the same sense detracted from, the recent political happenings in your native Hong Kong?  

Art is everywhere, art is the expression in person. The Hong Kong protest is the key element for every artist to do their own way to express like the propaganda made in recent months, which are out of my expectations and they all are looks so great and talented. I would say: we living in art is like where the society looks like.


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INFORMATION

All images with courtesy of Norris Yim

Follow the artist on Instagram




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