There is a myriad of facial expressions a person can make to convey emotion without the use of words. Drawing allows me to study the many ways different people can alter their faces to show feelings in a very technical and expressive manner. Through my art, I am continuously seeking to better understand distinct facial features that indicate specific emotions, various uses of charcoal, and the nature of ordinary objects around me.
I draw from photographic references that I take with consideration of lighting and position of my subjects. Since I work with charcoal and graphite, heavy contrast and a wide range of values must be clear in every reference photograph I take. Additionally, I photograph subjects in a pose or perspective that I have not drawn before to try something new and give each work I make a unique identity. I prefer to create monochrome drawings because I feel I can achieve the most realism with the absence of color. Working with the same media also helps my pieces look cohesive. Charcoal sticks and pencils permit me to create dark, bold lines while fine point graphite pencils help me with meticulously including small details.
Growing up seldom seeing realistic portraits of Asian subjects in my community as a Korean American has influenced the drawings I create today. Because of this lack of portrayal I saw, I now choose to illustrate subjects with also an Asian descent. After many years of not accepting Asian culture, I have finally come to embrace my ethnicity as it makes up a significant part of who I am. Drawing other Asian individuals showing emotion or lack thereof allows me to closely study the distinguishable Asian facial features I once was ashamed of having myself. With my art, I strive to create the representation for Asians that I was unable to see as a young child.