Instagram: @yiran_cheng

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

I am originally from China. Currently, I have a full-time job in an education company in New York City, which has nothing to do with art. I create art in my leisure time.

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2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

For visual arts, I am always attracted to those religious and cosmic motifs. I love the neo-classical way of arranging colors and composition–balanced, composed, and powerful.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

Recently, I only work with the digital medium because it is extremely convenient and adaptable.

4. What is your artistic process like?

I often form a vision in my mind inspired by other art forms, such as a poem, a movie, or a piece of music. But sometimes this vision is so vague that I have to rack my brain to come up with something more concrete onto paper.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

Humankind’s pursuit of meaning is the most enduring inspiration for my artistic creation.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

Art is always a channel for me. It transforms my perceptions and visions into something that can be shared by others. Art totally changes my relationship with this world: I am no longer merely a dweller, but I can appreciate and create art to connect myself with this universe’s beautiful secrets.

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7. Where did you study?

I studied English Literature and Linguistic in college. I have a master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Columbia University.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope I can do illustration as my part-time job. I will try to create something more of a narrative element.

9. What about in ten?

I hope I can finish my first novel or screenplay by then. Of course, I will also do illustration and cover design for it!

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

To make myself happy and fulfilled.

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11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

Hot pot, definitely!

12. Favourite book?

My recent favourite is Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. It tells a beautifully sad story set in an Indian village about how love is caged and destroyed by social constructs.

13. Favourite genre of music?

Movie soundtracks. I always listen to them when creating art because I consider them very visually evocative. My favorite artists include Philip Glass and Jóhann Jóhannsson.

14. What are your hobbies?

Reading, cooking, watching movies, debating with myself (and others)

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

A friend of art, I guess.

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