Interview with SHINYOUNG AN:
Your childhood ambition:
I wanted to become an interpreter, because I could not speak well when I was a child. I knew I was talented as an artist, but I did not pursue it. I was not sure if I wanted to be an artist… Actually, I was afraid of not being able to make a living as an artist. For some reason, the people around me admired women who were bank clerks. I guess they thought that was a safe position for a woman.
Something you treasure:
I really value having a healthy body. I cannot concentrate on my work if my body does not feel right. I will never forget being physically weak as a child. Because of that, I had a very low opinion of myself growing up. I believe a healthy body can have a strong influence on one’s mental abilities.
Your worst habit:
I get upset quickly, but I also forget about what made me mad quickly. I asked my husband about this one day, and he said, “Not keeping everything in is good for your health. You don’t have any bad habits. Please come to bed early anyway.” I assume staying up late is worse to him than listening to my complaints.
The aspect of your work that’s most important to you:
Getting the truth out to get viewers involved.
Your first job:
When I was in high school, I worked as a secretary in the principal’s office. I quit a year later because I knew it was not an appropriate job for my talents and personality. But by giving up that job, I was taking a big risk of never getting a future job as a bank clerk. Many teachers criticized me at that time. They pointed out that position was a rare opportunity for one student among thousands. However, I never regretted my decision.
Someone whose work you highly recommend:
Among artists who have died, I would recommend René Magritte. Because of his originality, his cleverness, and I love his art which has multiple meanings.
And for a living artist, I am happy to recommend Harvey Dinnerstein. His sincerity and persistence of demanding reality comes through in his work. His precise drawing skills gave him an ability to simplify his art, providing just enough detail for a balanced picture that is in harmony with nature. You can use Google Images to see some of his work.
See more of ShinYoung An’s work here.