Yongqi Tang: “I would never feel bored or limited by painting, because there are infinite ways I can paint- I could learn something in every new painting.”


Di Marco Crispano

How and why did you start your artistic career?


Everything happened quite naturally to me. Like many people, I have loved drawing since I was a kid but didn’t intend to major in art when I first came to the United States for college. I majored in psychology initially because I was interested in the complex patterns of human emotions and behaviors. However, as I studied psychology more, I began to have doubts in the validity of taking technical measurements of human emotions. I came to realize that art is the medium that initiates more meaningful conversations and connections. Artists can often tell cohesive stories by bridging seemingly insignificant fragments that make the unseen legible, and I aspire to become one of those, so I took the leap of faith to pursue a professional artistic career.


How did you discover your medium and why did you choose it?


I chose painting because it’s very accessible but still intellectually challenging. I am fascinated by how it has impacted people’s beliefs throughout its long history, and its flexibility and possibility. I would never feel bored or limited by painting, because there are infinite ways I can paint- I could learn something in every new painting. At the same time, painting doesn’t set a high barrier for beginners, as it doesn’t require a lot of space, and the materials are relatively easy to obtain.


Can you talk about your creative process?How does your work come about? How long does it take to create a work? When do you know it is finished?


I have a standard process for every painting: I usually start with multiple small pencil sketches and color studies, and then I would work on a bigger drawing. The big drawings are fundamental elements of my works, serving as technical rehearsal and conceptual exploration for the final paintings. I consider them not just preliminary sketches for the paintings, but also unique works of their own. Sometimes, I would also make ceramic sculptures for painting references if needed. A bigger painting would take one to two months while a smaller one would take one to two weeks. If I have time, I will let a painting sit for a few weeks and make changes later while working on other paintings because sometimes problems do not reveal themselves until you move your eyes from them. Therefore, a painting is never finished for me in a sense because I could always alter it, it’s a very malleable medium.


Who are your favorite artists? Which ones are you inspired by?


I don’t have a favorite artist, but I would look for references from different artists according to my needs. For example, I have drawn inspiration from many Italian Renaissance painters like Botticelli, Titian, and Francesco del Cossa for my latest project. My recent artist crush is Francesco Pesellino- I discovered this artist during research for one of my paintings and was surprised that I had never heard of him. I would also take inspiration from other mediums such as movies and books; I am inspired especially by dialogues and fiction since many of my paintings are about narratives and storytelling. They open up a new realm of imagination beyond paintings.


17. 2311
Name: Yongqi Tang
Residence: USA