Meet the Artist Sara Chyan
NY-ARTNEWS: Minimalism seems to be an important part of your practice, an important part of which is an awareness of the body when interacting with a piece, how important is your audiences view of the body, and space to the appreciation of your work?
SC: It is true that my work attaches great importance to the body, this is the central axis of my creation, I must complete the work itself through contact with the body. I don't want to let jewellery stand alone. For me, when putting jewellery on the body is the most beautiful and complete moment. In addition, because I attach great importance to the body, I don't directly visualise the body itself. For example, if you see a story and experience a difference in a story, if you experienced it, the five senses will have memories, and the brain will think about it, the impressions portrayed in this way are the most profound. So I let the audience notice the body itself through the physical movements of the interaction with the works, let them know that their body can let them make such physical movements, and interact with the works to recognise the body itself. This is what I hope. Conveyed to the audience through the work.
NY-ARTNEWS: How does the sumptuous, sensual and visceral use of color, and image in your paintings relate to your ideas on minimalism especially in your jewelry pieces?
SC: Before I came into contact with jewellery, I expressed my thoughts in colour. I also tried to create a realistic or intensive composition. However, I found that I prefer abstract and streamlined expressions. Colours and lines have enough emotions and the amount of information to express myself; I think this process allows me to create jewellery in a minimalist way.
NY-ARTNEWS: Can you explain some of the specific starting points you use when beginning a new glass, photo, or wearable art work? SC: To be honest, I don't have specific starting points. I am thinking through making person, so as long as I have inspiration, I will do it directly. In the process of continuous trial and error, I will develop the central axis of the work, so I always do a lot of small works, sometimes find new series of inspiration points from the small works tried in the past, maybe I can say that my starting points are in my creation.
NY-ARTNEWS: What are your ideas about the interchange of fashion and art?
SC: I think the essence of fashion is art. Fashion is a means of expression of art. Many designers in the fashion field also use the symbols of art in their works. The only thing that needs to be considered is the preference of the target audience. As long as the target group is found, the criteria can be determined to judge whether the work can be accepted. Therefore, I still create and express myself as an artist, and the created works are based on the criteria set previously to decide whether to make jewelry further.
NY-ARTNEWS: What and who are your inspirations when creating new work?
SC: I started to create works related to body lines from college, it was interesting at the time. Gradually this interest became the core of my creation and the perspective of things, so my work began to focus on the "body-related" axis. Development, from the physical part of the body line to the sensuous part related to recollection, and the series I graduated from is inspired by my paranoia of heat, which is closer to the spiritual level and more self, I feel that the current creation of the main axis has changed to "self-related". However, my creative style is very diverse, and the source of inspiration is extensive. Although there is a central axis of creation, I still often do some small works according to intuition, try a variety of things and materials, and some of the tried works will return to the original. The context, development around the main axis, but some will not, I won’t be too attached to the inspiration and context of creation. Inspiration may come from my own experience, an exhibition, a song, a book, or even a street scene or a conversation with others. There are a variety of things, and when I have inspiration, I can make small works and sometimes become new series.
NY-ARTNEWS: How essential is your drawing practice to your other bodies of work? Do you keep a sketchbook?
SC: I have rarely drawn now, although there are sketchbooks but most of them are sketches or inspirations. I am used to doing exercises directly with the body or observing other people's physical movements, and then directly creating, the previous drawing practice affected my current creation, but I did not explicitly think about this. Because that’s too much I want to do, simply let it go with the flow. NY-ARTNEWS: I’m particularly interested in your photography work in Africa. Could you please give some of the conceptual underpinnings of that work and what social issues are relevant to it and your work in general?
SC: These photos were taken when I went to Ghana as a volunteer. They belonged to documentary nature, recording the environment at that time, the way people live and interact, and how children grow up. I went for the local education problem. I was only 19 years old. It was a very poor country. Even a piece of paper was precious and the educational resources were very poor. I was there to get along with the children and help them with classes. Gradually integrating into their lives, I found that local children like pictures and some simple toys, so I started to try to interact with them in a way other than text. I made some creations and directly interacted with the children with the works. They can directly work through the works. They came to understand something, which made me feel very touched and felt differently while communicating with others. So I created a lot of works, and these works became the common language between me and the children, so I recorded our interaction. I always care about social issues, and I have participated in the protests in Hong Kong. Social issues (such as education issues) are one of my sources of inspiration, but my work is not limited to a certain topic, I will be inspired by these social issues. Try to make some small works, and this part of the small works may become the starting point of my series. NY-ARTNEWS: What is the difference in thinking in your process between your more commercial work and your art based practice?
SC: As mentioned above, I mostly create as an artist. The created works are decided according to the criteria to decide whether to make jewellery further. Therefore, the process of creation and thinking are the same, but the commercial works will be adjusted according to the audience's preferences for final considerations.
NY-ARTNEWS: On a more personal level what led to your decision to become an artist and what would you be doing if you were not working in the creative industry?
SC: In fact, it happened naturally. I didn't make up my mind to become an artist. As I found myself having the art corresponding ability and growing interest with art, I naturally hope to live as an artist. If I don't enter this industry, I should be a teacher. I like the feeling that people are gradually changing in interaction with each other. As they get along with each other, they gradually interact and change, as I am working now. To influence people, to lead people to think with works, I like to observe the changes that such others have made with me or my works. If the artist influences people and life by works, then the teacher is life affects life. This is something that I am also looking forward to. NY-ARTNEWS: Lastly, what do you think constitutes a compelling piece of art?
SC: Life experience, perspectives on things, visual language, etc. are all important. In addition to constant creation, it is also important to have enough knowledge to think about and create a balance. But the most important thing is sincerity. I love creating and loving my works. I often feel that the process of creation is to put a part of the soul into the work. Under the condition that the ability to create is sufficient, sincerely making a piece that I like very much will become a good art.