The digital world has taken over your life and photographer John Yuyi takes one step forward by inking it into your skin.
Social media is an extension of yourself, a part of your identity, and how you are viewed by the world that surrounds you. If you don't believe me, how often do people ask you about that short holiday you went to before you even mention it? Our lives are contained to a certain extent by these apps and they have become a mirror upon which we can view our emotions, anxieties, and desires with pixel clarity. Digital artist John Yuyi has made it her business to brand people with viral images we've all grown accustomed to.
Her unique images have allowed her to work with very interesting brands and she's even had her own solo show and exhibition earlier this year. What's her work about and should we actually refer to it as art? She uses temporary tattoos and these have become part of her signature look, as she explains,“their texture is like skin, [is as if] your body was a screen showing the information.” For her, people's expressions are not enough to reveal their thoughts or feelings, now they do this through instant messaging. So, her subjects become screens where they showcase all the information they wish to share consciously and unconsciously for all the world to see.
Though she’s been working as a creative for a long time now, her photographs of people playing with these tattoos has made her famous. Unbelievably, what started out as a joke has opened many doors and opportunities, not only on social media but also important professional collaborations.
Yuyi studied fashion design in Taiwan and has worked in the industry in different capacities, from modeling and photography to editorial and fashion design. While some may scoff and say she's not a true artist, I believe fashion is an art form, whether you like to call it applied art, it's up to you, but what makes it different from the fine arts? I believe there's no difference, because the same artistic expression poured into the making of a painting equals that of the creation of clothes. Which is why perhaps Yuyi calls herself not a fashion designer, but a fashion creative.
She has decoded the cypher that has allowed her to become a social media success, but there's a drawback, her work is doomed to live on digital platforms like Instagram. She admits the important role social media has played in her craft, but is is precisely this drawback that pushes her to seek out different projects. She doesn't intend to devote her creativity only to the content profiled there, but to seek different artistic avenues.
While Instagram and other social media platforms may well open doors for many creatives, it is not long before these artists seek a way out. Art cannot thrive in a digital sphere made solely for transient consumption, as you scroll down you are chewing and spitting out hours of work and creative thought that went into a single image. To savor art and the work of someone is something we are slowly neglecting in our obsession with squared layouts and hashtags.
If you want to see more of her original work, take a look at her Instagram account: @johnyuyi
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