The soul of an artist lives in the glimpses of everyday wonder. Expanding through visions of colours, poetry, and abstract forms.
Priscilla Yu’s art explores humanity through a dreamy kaleidoscopic lens. Her vibrant expression of storytelling is displayed in her geometric illustrations and mural work.
Foe & Dear caught up with Priscilla to explore her early years of artistic expression, her connection to Vancouver’s local art community, and the endless possibilities that live in the imagination.
What is your first memory of creating art as a child?
I was in preschool, and we were making paintings with straws and soapy paint. I remember being completely enthralled and having a blast, as the colours mixed and moved around organically.
Who has been an influential part of your artistic journey?
Anybody I’ve had the good fortune of crossing paths with, who is pursuing an artistic life, dreaming, and creating. So many of the artists in Vancouver including Sean Karemaker, Andrea Wan, and Pablo Zamudio. I’ve also really admired Bjork’s career and visionary expressions.
Upcoming projects you're excited about?
I’m currently on an internal overhaul with my art business, and preparing to shift my Chinatown studio into a partial-retail space, to house new products, and add some open studio hours to my week. I’m excited about this new chapter!
How has traveling for work opened up your creative process?
It’s opened my eyes to some of the opportunities available outside of Vancouver, and the vastness of possibilities. Visiting art galleries in other cities has also inspired some of my work.
Where would you like to visit and explore next?
I’m curious about a few places. Revisiting Berlin and Hong Kong, visiting Montreal, Lisbon, or Madrid for the first time. Honestly, it’s very open-ended. We’ll see what happens.
Self-care rituals that keep you grounded and connected to your art?
Lately, I’ve been really into sound therapy. I have a tuning fork and a singing bowl that I like to unwind with under dim lighting. Journaling also helps me keep in touch with myself, and often feeds into my art.
Why did you choose the Raven Trust for the charity of the season?
I initially sought out to choose a charity supporting an environmental cause. Choosing Raven Trust felt like a good way to do that in addition to contributing to an organization that supports and partners with Indigenous Peoples across Canada through fundraising and campaign initiatives. I’ve come across Raven Trust in the past with their work alongside the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs. They protect Indigenous rights and hold governments accountable to climate commitments.
Words to live by
I like ‘Life expands in proportion to one’s courage’. I first came across that somewhere in my graduation year at art school. It’s been fuel for me for over ten years.
I also like, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’ which reminds me to seek feedback, have conversations with people, and also consider possibilities outside of my imagination and experience.
Follow Priscilla's journey here
Photos by Miriam Brellenthin