Inner workings of a painter: described

Untitled (Self Portrait).jpg

The journey of this painting took nearly a month of indecision and searching. As a result, I destroyed one painting in the process after 3 white washes of one canvas; thereby starting over completely. One friend to whom I mentioned this to said that was very courageous. I thought so too, but only because I felt no guilt or anger from the fresh start. Process. No feelings of discontent or anger. Just let it be. The new canvas proved to be the right thing to do. I could feel the surface of the canvas again; and how it would inform me of it’s need to be felt.

So what went on in my mind as I was painting this piece, which didn’t have a title prior to the completed art? I was trying to force it into being similar to the first two paintings in the series of Ode to New York. I wanted it to be the same vein at them so there would be a coherence of bold dark thick lines and form with richness in contrast and colours, meanwhile being balanced throughout with areas of confusion pitted against clarity and sharpness. I wanted it to look like the first piece in the series, but it simply would not happen. I felt at times that I had been a failure during this process. How could I not do it again? This gave me the feeling that I should never do a commission.

Midway through the second canvas, I came to a stage of the painting where I thought: yes, this is coming along. I put that thought on hold and continued to paint the surface with a secondary thought: the new work has to have its own identity. It is desperately wanting it’s own character, it’s own voice. The message is different. With that, I took the brush and once again, make marks. I pulled back from the painting and to my dismay, it looked like shit! What the fuck? I took the painting quietly and placed it in the storage area. I didn’t want to look at it again.

The next night as I lied on the sofa, the voice inside said: push it further! I didn’t like the word ‘push’. I corrected the voice with my own and said ‘I’ll work on it more’. With that, I pulled the painting out from the storage area and lied it flat on my painting table. I turned down the lights in the studio to darken the space, while I had a light on in the adjacent room. With that, I started to paint. Something magical happened and I could feel the energy moving through me, transporting the marks onto the canvas. I knew it was coming. Layers of colours went on with a new feeling coming to the canvas. I pulled the painting off from the table and place it on the wall. I felt another colour wanting to make its mark and again, pulled the painting down and laid down the several more marks. Suddenly, there it was.  It was right; it was perfect.

For it’s title, I knew it was a self portrait of me in an abstracted form of disjointed feverish brushstrokes with underlying layers of complexity, but it is an untitled piece; this could be anyone, it could be you, the viewer.

I hope you enjoy the artwork, as much as my journey into self discovery.

My fine art website:

Pulsation Interview by Jefferson Mendoza

I was fortunate enough to have Jefferson Mendoza interview me recently for my Pulsation exhibition at Tree of Life art space, an exhibition in which the artwork was influenced by the mass shooting in Orlando, where 49 lives were taken and the repercussions that took place following the event.

NORM YIP Pulsation Exhibition Catalogue:

Video Interview Credit:
Jefferson Mendoza
Twitter: @myjeffersonian
IG: @myjeffersonian

Pencil drawing: Levitation, No. 2

A quick zoom in and out of pencil drawing “Levitation, No. 2”. Completed while listening to music by Marc Poppcke – Breakable (Namatjira Remix)

If you look closely, you’ll get a slight 3D effect, although it is all 2D on Acumen card paper stock.

In the event that you might be interested in this particular artwork, yes it is available. Just contact me through my website shown below.

To see my artwork:


The Making of Pulsation, No. 8

High speed video clip of me creating Pulsation, No. 8, a painting akin to the work of the Abstract Expressionists and perhaps some of the ideology that were suggested by the Surrealists Automatism. Throughout the creative process, there is a balance between perceived chaos and definitive control. My colour selection is thought out and nearly calculative, yet the application of paint to canvas is somewhat arbitrary and gestural. This gestural movement is learned, but from the point of letting go, versus detailed formalism.

Credit is owned to the background music, of which I have borrowed from a podcast which inspires me to do the work that I do. Playing is Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy, No. 157.

To see more of my paintings:
Facebook Page:
Instagram ID: normyip
I welcome enquiries on the work that I do.

Pulsation Exhibition by Norm Yip

Pulsation Exhibition - IG.jpg

TREE OF LIFE presents: 

PULSATION by Norm Yip | 葉灃

Recent Paintings & Drawings
Opening on 12 August 2016, 7-10pm
Live Demonstration* at 8pm
Exhibition continues until 31 August 2016

Tree of Life, 36 Eastern Street,
Sai Yin Pun, Hong Kong

Open daily 10am – 8pm
T. +852 9220 0803

T. +852 68388948

PULSATION is the beat of the heart; pulsation is the beat of the city; pulsation is the beat of the Earth; pulsation is the beat of the universe. It is the dance of negative and positive energy in synch with each other. Ever since Norm Yip decided to pursue his interest in art and creativity, his investigations in art and consciousness has brought him closer to the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Pulsation is part of the ongoing evolution of Norm’s art: organic, yet mediating between control and freedom in the traditional form of painting and drawing.


*Norm will demonstrate how he creates one of his vibrant ‘Pulsation’ paintings, a task he says, is both challenging and easy at the same time. “Life is a journey, not a destination.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tree of Life:
Norm Yip:

Abstract artwork influenced by the Orlando shooting.

Pulsation, No. 1.jpg
Pulsation, No. 1, 2016, Acrylic on Canvas, 210 x 140cm. 
Pulsation, No. 2.jpg
Pulsation, No. 2, 2016, Acrylic on Canvas, 210 x 140cm. 

Two weeks ago, on the morning of June 12, 2016, I heard the news of the mass shooting in Orlando. Events were just starting to unfold as the late night began in the US; many questions were still unanswered as to what exactly was happening. That evening, I was having drinks with writer Marshall Moore at local gay bar Zoo here in Hong Kong, when it was reported that 50 people were shot dead. Looking at Marshall, I could tell he was devastated by the news. We asked for another round of drinks.

As the days moved onwards, I was checking the news and following the events on the victims and the murderer, as well as the horrific reactions by religious fundamentalists with their narrow-minded views on homosexuality. Shocking, frightening, and disturbing.

In my studio, both glued to the news and videos, I actually froze from painting for the first while as I was trying to process what I should do. Should I paint something political? How do I even approach the painting? I wondered if I should create something more political, but eventually felt that was purely reactionary and decided to take the energy and channel it into the artwork. It was hard to process this as I approached the canvas. My hands were trembling as I was painting the first layers of paints, a combination of deep blues and dark reds. The lighter version was completed first; while the darker version came later.

Freewill and the creative process

Wanted to do some smaller pieces as exercises. A few quick abstract sketches created using graphite and woodless charcoal pencils while listening to selected ambient music. Actually, beginning the pieces are hard because I feel as though I have to exert control over the paper. Once that hurdle is accomplished, then it’s letting the artwork take its own course and trying not to impose my own ‘will’ into the piece.

Scientists have discovered that it 7 seconds before we decide on a decision on what to do, brain activity is already making choices! Strange but true. So, the question is whether or not I ‘created’ the artwork, if the decisions to the actions were already happening before I laid graphite to paper. It’s the classic case of whether free will truly exists. Okay maybe a bit too conceptual, but that’s what intrigues me.

The Asian Male Project (1999 – 2016) : End of an Era

To the many followers of my work in photographing the The Asian Male, I have come the decision that 2016 will mark the year that the project comes to an end. 
What started out as an exercise to emulate the photography of Herb Ritts has taken me into a journey of exploration and discovery of my photographic abilities as a photographer in capturing the human body, in a subject matter that was for the most part, unexplored.

During the past year, many of you may well know that my interest has shifted and my passion towards photographing the Asian male subject subsiding, seeking only to shoot a few selected models that would come across my path. With recent events both on a personal and business level, I realised that The Asian Male series was indeed coming to a close, and it was only a matter of time that I announce to my fans and admirers the end has arrived. 
Thank you to all the models that I have been privileged to photograph, especially in the formative years, when Asian men were not seen as an object of beauty, as it is today. And thank you to the many fans that have been following my work throughout the 18 years. 
No doubt there may be opportunities for showcasing the collection of images in the future, but that has yet to become an actuality. In the meantime, the images will remain in my Archives. 


Norm Yip

First account of experiencing bliss.

I write this recounting the event that took place two days ago. I was lying on the sofa when I suddenly felt a strange yet not totally unfamiliar feeling of complete bliss, and an eerie silence was felt thought out my consciousness. For a few minutes I knew instinctively that this was what I was trying to achieve when I entered into meditation, and for some reason I was entered it without mentally trying (and maybe this was the reason why it happened). Normally my mind is chattering away in a constant hum of thoughts in my failed attempts at meditation. 
What was the feeling like? It was very peaceful, very quiet, and calm. Unlike anything I had experienced before. I remember it happened while my eyes were closed, and I consciously felt the presence of bliss upon me. I told myself to open my eyes to see if the feeling would continue. It did as I expected. The feeling was not love, as some might think. It was just that everything felt perfect, just as it was. What was more beautiful was the purity of this deep silence. So very peaceful. What is the name of this place? Some of you may know. 
Regardless, this was the first time this happened to me. There was an odd familiarity to this, yet it was new to me. I am uncertain.