Young Chun: An Exclusive Interview with A.I.M.O.

Please tell our audience of how growing up as a minister's child has influenced your work. I'm inspired and influenced by many things. I think everything I've come across has either directly or indirectly influenced my work in some way. So growing up as a pastor's kid, I've been introduced to people in the congregation from all different backgrounds, and naturally, as a child being exposed to the different lifestyles of people and the stories that they share about themselves - it has influenced my art, either directly or indirectly in some shape or form.

As a kid, I would follow my parents to visit the homes of the church - goers. I remember in the homes of the more fortunate members, the beautiful - original oil paintings that hung on their walls. Those paintings impressed me a lot I think. They must have left some kind of lasting impression on me, because growing, I always associated oil paintings with the wealthy. At the time those type of things seemed out of reach. Oil paintings were something special to me; something that oohed & ahhed me. It might be part of the reason why I paint today.

Are these portraits you create so wonderfully well based on actual people or are they concepts based on strangers? Both. I'm inspired by people in my personal life as well as the people who live in the environment that surround me.

I do love the Swarovski type glasses seen in so many of your paintings. What do they represent to you? I think the imagery in my paintings can be interpreted in different ways, and the viewer should find their own personal meaning in them. To me, the glasses represent all the beautiful and wonderful things in this world, the eyes see and want to love. An innocent - superficial, lust for things.

There are often the same items appearing in your portraits. Can you speak of the butterflies, religious items, cigarettes and truly distorted features of your portraits? What do they symbolize?

I think in life, there are many things that surround us that are indirectly related to the experiences we have. I like to paint my paintings in that way. Not all of the elements can be deciphered to directly relate to the specific theme of a piece. And much like life, the same items appear. It's the re-arrangement of these things that make them appear new again. The pictures that I paint, evolve in my mind as a result of a certain feeling that I experience. So I don't choose to dissect or try to make sense of the objects in them. If I did that, I would start changing the things I couldn't make sense of, to something I could interpret. And I'll keep changing these things to the point, where it becomes a completely different picture than what I had originally conceived in my mind. Then it really doesn't represent the feeling that I want to convey.

Tell us about what is next for you in terms of print releases and gallery shows. Aside from various shows I'll be involved in this year, I'm currently working on releasing some very limited, fine art prints of mine. Exclusively available on my site!

What art hangs on your walls? Very Confidential!

Where can our readers learn more about both you and your work?

My website! YoungChun.com

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