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HomeCommunityTake Ten

Joey Yu

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Joey Yu describes herself as an “illustrator, animator and curator living in London.” This is true, but when you view the work of the Hong-Kong born artist, it’s clear that she is, perhaps most, an astute observer of society.

We caught up with the artist to discuss her practice, her love of love, and, of course, memes. 

01. How do you describe what you do?

Trying to maneuver a way of living when I am constantly astounded and overwhelmed by life itself.

@itsnicethat team sketches, 2018

02. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Turn on something for background sound while I get ready. I like ASMR or world music.

Chinatown Lunch, Somerset Enhanced Velvet

03. What’s your favorite piece of work you’ve created?

All the drawings I’ve done of couples. I love love, but I’m never in it, so I live vicariously through all of my friends.

04. What’s your biggest influence?

That’s a fluctuating, ever-changing thing! Right this very second, maybe The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I went a couple of weeks back; I can’t stop thinking about the bonsai room.

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05. What would be your dream collaboration?

It’s always Frank Ocean. Although these days, Rosalia too. The first time I heard her music- I was at this music venue setting up artwork to go outside, and she was rehearsing for a gig with her dancers. I had no idea who she was but I went home after and started doing all this research. She was just belting it out in this cavernous space, and when they all danced their footsteps were echoing. Her creativity is incredible.

06. How does movement play into your work?

In terms of process, a lot of my works document me physically traveling to different places. I love to capture bodies in motion too. I think there’s no limit to the ways we draw the human body, and what it represents.

Persian Dinner, 2018

07. What’s your favorite recreational activity?

Dancing. And walking too. I really like being alone and walking aimlessly through London on a good day. 

08. What’s your best tip for Doing Things?

For the things that are mentally demanding: disperse them in between the things that are physically demanding in order to attain a harmonious balance, like running, screaming, kicking things over, etc.

Yes I’m a Little Fragile, 2018

09. What’s your favorite meme?

There are favorite memes for different occasions. But mostly it’s this one.

10. Where is your favorite place to move?

Along the sea back to my grandparent’s home in Hong Kong. There are big rocks you can jump across. And you can see lots of old ladies doing tai chi.

Sit In A Direct Beam of Sunlight,
Hahnemühle German Etching

11. What do you want to see more of in the world?

More animals roaming the planet freely, without threat.

Keep up with Joey’s latest works by following her on Instagram @itsjoeyyu. Select prints from Joey’s collection are available here, and you can also purchase one of her 3D printed vases here.

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