Artist Norris Yim talks on why he paints in an abstract style
Norris Yim is able to visualize the human face in a unique manner. Instead of depicting the face with the typical eyes, nose, and mouth, he instead uses a variety of colors to bring forth a new lifeform. He talks about why he paints in this style in the discussion below.
How did you get started with art?
While I have always enjoyed flexing my creative muscles, I never realized how deep my love for art truly was until college. After this self-revelation, art became an essential part of my life. In college, studying at the School of Design (Environmental & Interior Design) in Hong Kong, I tried to broaden my horizons. I retrieved a once important thing in my memories which is art.
I looked into more about it and tried to restart the art and to keep painting & drawing daily to practice. Learning from the skill, I then put emotion into the painting. I found that painting was the one thing I could concentrate on, the one thing I always wanted to do. At first, I just wanted to take an extra arts course, but when I came into contact with painting, it was like finding my own long-lost soul. Ever since then, in a very natural way, I feel I have to pick up a brush every day, even if it’s just to tweak a color. That’s how painting became fundamental to me.
I think I may be destined for art in my life.
What makes you paint portraits in so unique a manner?
Looks are not a person’s most important distinguishing features in my art — which is perhaps to say, looks are not what’s important about a person. I like to view people through color. Every work uses different colors. Those abstract pigments represent my current feelings and mood. I use my own mood to get to know and define each person I paint. My mood forms the basis of the work. Even if I painted the same person 100 times, I’d still get 100 different results. I just love to explore the emotion through color.
Anyone can paint a likeness. While the human figure is there, the painter’s soul is missing. I don’t want to limit my own work to someone else’s standards. I’m often asking myself, is my imagination unlimited? This question is the basis of all my art. I want to seek more possibilities in painting and color, more possibilities in myself.
What is it about the abstract style that you find so fascinating?
The texture, color mixture & brush stroke movement.
Those are my expectations in each painting. After using the brush, I can see the movement of the color itself, it’s just like a living element. I try to keep those moments in my paintings to represent the emotion with the color I bring in.
Who are some major influences on your work?
The master Willem de Kooning is my hero to my painting life as he showed confidence and freedom when he was painting instantly in his documentary video.
His intuitiveness of brush strokes creates a sense of combination of unique color style helped me to learn. That’s made me paint without any drafts and through the sense of emotion to paint my style.
What, in your mind, separates painting from drawing?
Drawing is put into the element of the works.
Painting is put into the element to the works after you pick up the element.
What was it like being featured on the Return On Art page?
It’s like a dream as I’m a little fan of the page, that also is inspiring for anybody to check out. Return On Art discovered so many great artists, and I am so honored to be part of the platform. And it’s my motivation to force me to do better in my painting career.
Are you looking to present at any upcoming events?
I would like to plan to join some of the US art events in the future. Still Planning.