Giant Robot Artist Interview – Lawrence Yang
Lawrence Yang lives in San Francisco and has shown at Giant Robot a few times and is now teaming up with Martin Hsu for their Giant Robot 2 exhibition: Undercurrents set to open Saturday, October 15th. His day job is a tech firm in the Silicon Valley and he paints to un-fry his mind. His work is beautiful and serene and we’re happy to host him.
GR: How did you get started in art?
LY: I’ve been drawing since I was a kid, but I didn’t really start spending a lot of time on it until I graduated college and moved to San Francisco. Here, with a new home, a new job, and limited friends, I found I had a ton of time to myself. So I started painting, and eventually started posting to a blog. A gallery somehow found me online and asked if I wanted to be in a show. I’ve been showing my work ever since!
GR: What’s your day time life like? Can you mix that with your art work?
LY: I have a full time job in the South Bay, which when taking the company shuttle means about an hour and a half door to door ride. I work as an information architect, so I spend my day thinking about user experience and content hierarchies. I usually get home around 7 or 8, eat something, and if I’m not too tired – then I would start to paint. I feel like my job and artist life complement each other very well – it makes for a nice balance of structure and freedom! Now if only there were more hours in the day…
GR: You live in the bay area, can you talk about how the environment touches your art?
LY: The Bay area is a great place to live as an artist. The people are interesting and the environment is varied – ocean, bay, hills, redwoods, vineyards, mountains… Inspiration is everywhere.
GR: I notice you have an ocean type feel but not always, why did it go there?
LY: I’ve always been fascinated by the water and mountains. We didn’t have much of that in the midwest where I grew up, but I was exposed to this kind of environment on our periodic family trips to Taiwan. In addition, working with watercolor and ink lends itself more to watery scenes.
GR: What animations and or games are you into? Talk about those! Do they creep into your work?
LY: Ha, I’ve watched a fair amount of cartoons / anime and have played my fair share of games. They don’t normally make their way into my work, but when a video game show comes up I always enjoy it.