Have you ever cut open a ripe piece of fruit and found flowers blooming inside? If not, that’s too bad, because in the artistic world of Joe Ting Yuen (b. 1969) this kind of thing happens all the time. Maybe you just need to get closer, like Yuen does when wondering what you’re up to: lean in with a smile, ask a million questions, share some laughter, and then you’ll see the flowers.
And they are everywhere in his artwork. Bright and loose in watercolors with subtly unusual combinations of earth and pastel, concentric rings of petals like dahlias, ornamented with pods, seeds, and washes of color. Structured by repeated X’s or O’s with radiating connecting lines, these forms resemble an antique compass rose—ornate and floral, but entirely modern, as if a map could be nothing but its cardinal directions. Yuen’s work looks past the surfaces of things, into their potential, where a map shows blooms beneath each step, and a cut melon bursts with pink and orange sunflowers.Print Bio