Doodling and freeing the mind….

I have found a new fascination with doodling, something that is done by many while talking in the phone, in classrooms, or maybe in conferences (when you zone out from what the speaker is saying). As an artist, strangely, I rarely doodled, but would walk up to a canvas and start working right away. Most of the time, since my work was more along the lines of abstract expressionism, I approached the canvas with an open liberal mind. Then about a month ago, I started to doodle again on A4 paper, to free up my hand on another level or scale using the medium of a ink marker, vastly different from a paint brush or piece of cloth. The tool determines a particular outcome, as much as the size of the artwork. In the samples shown below, these were all created on A5 card paper stock, thick enough to give the feeling that there was a level of importance to what I was doing, but small enough to not be too serious about the output. It was all the right elements in place for me to create without inhibitions and supposedly ‘without thought’. In my investigations I found that not knowing what exactly to do was beneficial to the level of creative output. I wasn’t afraid to draw spiders and insects, something I sort of fear on the daily basis — I hate cockroaches! I drew symbols like crosses, pluses and minus, and ones that did not make any sense. It wasn’t going to matter. I drew shapes and forms that looked like children’s work and latices and fill-in patters of dots and hashes that reminded me of my days working as an architect. At a charity doodle event, the lady across from me said my drawings were like the inner working of my mind, which was so true.

I am wondering if there is something more that can be gained from this particular experience of doodling, and letting things just go, where anything is allowed and nothing is taboo. Could this be something that the everyday person could benefit from? I know that colouring books have been the rage recently, but I personally don’t feel attuned to that. The blank paper and a pen/marker seems much more appropriate. I believe creating the shapes is by far more liberating, offering a more free and creative approach to the tactile experience than choosing colours to fill ‘within the lines’. If anything, we should be crossing and connecting the lines!

To see more of my doodles, please go to http://www.normyip.com/mishmash/

 

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First dream of 2017… about consciousness…

My first dream of 2017 had me sitting in a plain room with no decoration. A man walks in this room wearing a button-down shirt and sits himself across from me. He asks me “What are thoughts on the consciousness”? I started to answer him citing different levels on consciousness….

I feel as though the majority of the human race is in low level consciousness, which includes things like mass consumerism, killing, money-driven goals both from an individual and corporate level. The year of 2016 was certainly a shock and eye-opener to the reality of this mode of thinking. Eckhardt Tolle called this low level of thinking ‘unconscious’.

Perhaps 2017 will bring about a small bit of awakening from this kind of thought pattern. Wakening includes small big things like 1) we are all the same as part of a greater ‘whole’, 2) that nothing is ‘real’ as form is an illusion (scientifically this has been shown the case too), 3) spirituality at its core essence is pointing to the same source, for example 4) Buddha and Jesus was talking about the same inner experience and 5) that ‘you’ are not your thoughts, nor your body, as it part of the form or illusion. Also 6) that there is more to what meets the eye in our limited vision of experience (this one get into the preternatural area).

Well, my first post of this kind. I can presume some will disagree with my writings, but I felt this was to be shared, as I started to waken from the dream.

AIDS CONCERN CHARITY AUCTION 2016 – Thoughts as your art goes up for Live Auction!

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I just want to reiterate how pleased I was at last night’s Aids Concern Charity event, which was far above my expectations. My donated artwork ‘Rapture, No. 2’ was sold during the Live Auction component.
 
Sitting at my table along with the other artists, namely Nic Gaunt and Bex Gaunt, whose photograph was auctioned off above their retail price at $44K! (A hearty congratulations to them!) I could see that Bex was a bit teary when hugs were being exchanged.
 
Then my piece came up to the stage… I was at nerves wondering if anyone would bid. And for what felt like an eternity, someone put in the first reserve bid of $10,000. Seconds passed (which again felt like another eternity…), and someone bid $12K. Suddenly, the bids went higher.. 14K, 16… when Peter Sargant went to the stage and said a few words taking me back in time to when we first met and of the conversations we had. It really touched me. He passed the mic back to MC… and the bids went up, reaching 20K, 22K and finally, 24K! The gavel went down and it was SOLD!
 
At that moment, I was in disbelief at just what happened. I went to the back room to where the artworks were on display to try to find out who the bidder was, but I don’t think they knew who it was still. The website just indicated ‘Anonymous’.
 
Towards the end of evening as I was going to the after party, someone tapped me on the shoulder. It was someone I knew from long ago. He said rather nonchalantly that he just bought my painting. I was thrilled to know who the owner was; I knew the painting would be going to a good home. Thank you Anonymous! It means a lot to me.
 
It is the first time in all my years in Hong Kong, that my artwork has been shown and auctioned at such a large charitable event. It is for a cause that I am deeply connected to, meaning AIDS. I grew up during the time when the disease was running rampant in Toronto — exactly at time when I was just coming out. It was a very confusing time for me then. Friends, very young were dying and know one knew what was the cause. It is why I support various AIDS charities. I do not have the financial means to offer money, but this was the best thing to happen where I felt my art made could kind make some kind of difference.
 
Thank you Aids Concern: Andrew Chidgey, Frankie Fan, Jennifer Chan, and Marco Wong.
 
For more about Aids Concern in Hong Kong:

Thoughts behind ‘Two Worlds One Mind’ by Norm Yip & Alexis Reynaud

The opportunity to exhibit artwork in Zurich once again was a delight to see and experience. In a joint effort between myself and fellow artist Alexis Reynaud, we both brought visual variety to Gallery Box, a new gallery space in Zurich that opened last year by Thomas Sarbach, a painter and artist as well. It was Thomas, the one who made the introduction of Alexis to me and suggested that we group together for this show. Initially, I had concerns that my work alone was not enough to do a show successfully at his gallery, given the large space of the venue.

The original idea was to have an exhibition of my Pulsation painting only and some of my more intellectually stimulating graphite drawings to accompany the show. I would leave my Asian male photography out of the show. As things transpired over the months, Thomas was keen to see my Asian male images included as part of the exhibition, seeing as how Alexis was keen to show some of his nude photography work too. Thus, in the last weeks prior to the opening, there was a rush to get photographs printed and framed.

Alexis Reynaud included male and female nudes painted in black and covered with a high gloss finish/sheen, resulting in a high contrast black to white erotic images. Shot using sharp lighting (most likely a strobe), it was a foil to my images, where softness and slightly blurred images appear. The feelings from each of our works are similar, but one thing remained clear: the desire to create beauty using the human body as the vehicle for expression.

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Norm Yip, Barry, 2016, Pigment ink on paper, 50 x 75 cm. 

As for our paintings, my work is abstract, taking influence from Jackson Pollock’s action paintings, but at a much smaller scale and with a more stylised control of brushwork. Alexis however took the Samurai as his subject matter, creating a highly energised set of paintings using only a selective colour palette of red, blue, yellow, and the neutral colours of black and white for his works. Sweeping expansive strokes compared to my smaller controlled ones. The common thread to our work was clear: the desire for self-expression through the use of the brush, and not so much about attempting to create something real. Yes, Alexis’s work is more figurative, but to me, the essence is in the expressive brushworks, and if viewed more closely, abstraction.

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Alexis Reynaud, Musashi 00017, 2016, Acrylic on canvas, 61 x 46 cm.
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Norm Yip, Pulsation, No. 2, 2016, Acrylic on canvas, 210 x 140 cm.

What is fascinating for me is the desire for both myself and Alexis to take on the medium of painting and photography as a modes of expression, to which Thomas, the curator, found intriguing. The title Two Worlds One Mind is entirely appropriate. Speaking for myself, I took to painting as far back as 1999, when my first studio collaboration/partnership began with Meli-Melo Artist Alliance. Painting spoke to me in ways that was different than photography. It was in fact more tactile and real than photography. With painting, there was a purposeful engagement with the brush, canvas, the mixing of colours, and the application of medium to surface, a process that is entirely unique and special.

Just before the Pulsation series began, I had reached a mini plateau, and I was ready to move my work in a different direction. And then it happened: the Orlando shooting where over 50 people were shot dead in a gay bar. That incident brought forth feelings, which I then translated into the artwork.

The exhibition for me is important, as it is the first time for me showing my paintings abroad/overseas. I owe a huge THANK YOU to all that came to the exhibition opening, and of course to Thomas Sarbach and Alexis for their support and generosity during my time there.

By appointment only:
Tel +41(0)763446060
Mail: gallerybox@gmx.ch
http://www.gallery-box.net/

Inner workings of a painter: described

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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: http://normyip.com

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:
https://issuu.com/normyip/docs/norm_yip_-_pulsation_exhibition
Facebook: http://facebook.com/normyip
http://normyip.com

Video Interview Credit:
Jefferson Mendoza
Twitter: @myjeffersonian
IG: @myjeffersonian
Facebook: http://facebook.com/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) https://youtu.be/mihEZUgtN84.

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: http://normyip.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/normyip
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/normyip/

 

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: http://normyip.com
Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/normyip
Instagram ID: normyip
I welcome enquiries on the work that I do.
Namaste.

Pulsation Exhibition by Norm Yip

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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
Venue:

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

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

Information:
nwy@normyip.com
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: http://treeoflifehk.com/
Norm Yip: http://normyip.com/