Yongqi Tang | Naturally drawn to the excitement of art

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Interview | Munchies Art Club

Introducing the artist Yongqi Tang

The Munchies Art Club is thrilled to share with you the work of the contemporary artist Yongqi Tang.

Yongqi was born in China and in 1997 attended the University of Washington and received a B.A. in painting and drawing in 2019 and an M.F.A in 2022. 

who is yongqi tong female artist
Yongqi Tang | Photo credit: Sebastian Martinez

She is the recipient of the Bernie Funk Artist Scholarship, Boyer and Elizabeth Bole Gonzales Scholarship for Excellence, and the Puget Sound Group of Northwest Artists Scholarship Award. 

She also was artist in residence at the Field Projects Gallery, NY. 

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EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN: The Apartment | 2022 | 68” by 94” | Charcoal on Paper | Image courtesy the artist

Short Q&A 

You were born in China and later moved to the States and studied at the University of Washington art and also psychology. Interesting combination. Can you tell us a bit about your choices to study psychology and art? 

At first, I wasn’t planning to become an artist. 

I have been into art since very young but I didn’t decide to make it my career when I chose my schools. 

painting, psychology, story
Metamorphosis (she walked out from the silence) | 2022 | 16′′ by 20′′ | Mixed media on panel | Photo credit: Sebastian Martinez

Psychology is somewhere between humanity which I am more interested in, and science, which could make more money. 

I wanted to become a psychologist, but later I am naturally drawn to the art because that is what I am always excited about. 

Later, I think I need to be honest with myself, so I proceeded with my MFA degree. 

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One Step Away: The Stair | 2021 | 84*144” | Oil on Canvas | Photo credit: Yifei Fang

Was your family supportive of your choice to become an artist? Are there other such talents in your family? 

Yes, they are very supportive! I am the only artist in my family, they don’t understand art but they try to support me. 

I am very grateful for that. 

green, painting, wall art, interview artist
A color study for a bigger painting | Testing fabric dye on raw cotton | Image courtesy the artist

Many of your paintings are like scenes from a story, could you tell us a bit about this painting? 

EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN: The Wedding | 2022 | 79” by 109” | Oil on Canvas | Photo credit: Sebastian Martinez

This painting is the last painting I made for my graduation show. When I started the project, I was very interested in multiple-figure narratives, not only because they are very challenging, but also because of their relationship to the films. 

My practice has been strongly influenced by the movies I have watched. 

eat drink man woman and the wedding banquet
EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN: Holzwege (wood-ways) | 2022 | 79” by 109” | Charcoal on Paper | Image courtesy the artist

This painting, for example, pays homage to Ang Li’s film Eat Drink Man Woman and the Wedding Banquet. (The title is a direct quote!)

Sometimes I was inspired by the visual aspects of the films, and sometimes I drew inferences from the ideas and emotions the films revealed. 

painting, females, young art to collect
Valentine(Rain) | 2022 | 12′′by12′′ | Oil on Wood | Photo credit: Sebastian Martinez

Could you walk us through a day in your studio?

I recently relocated to a new studio with two of my friends. 

When I was in MFA, I would go to my studio every day and stay for around six hours, usually 12:00pm-6:00pm. 

I like to listen to philosophy and art podcasts when I work. 

top emerging young chinese female artists
One Step Away: The Walk | 2021 | 84*144” | Oil on Canvas | Photo credit: Yifei Fang 

What role does Instagram play for you and your art practice? 

Instagram is the main platform to show my art and connect with other artists. 

I have found a lot of opportunities on Instagram, such as residencies, grants, and open calls. 

dinner table scene, painting, large, yellow
EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN: The Apartment | 2022 | 79” by 109” | Oil on Canvas | Photo credit: Sebastian Martinez 

Sometimes a feature on the accounts with more followers would bring me more opportunities, and I get to know more about the contemporary art scene on Instagram too. 

ang li’s film scene, charcoal drawings
EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN: The Wedding | 2022 | 75” by 102” Charcoal on Paper | Image courtesy the artist

Follow Yongqi on Instagram:

Visit her website too @ Yongqi Tang

A big thank you to Yongqi for sharing her work and her story with us and our viewers!

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