Artist Soyoung- Merging Literature with Art!

Artist Soyoung
Artist Soyoung

I’d like to introduce you to artist Soyoung. Soyoung was introduced to me by a mutual friend and I’ve been following her career ever since. Born in Seoul, she spent most of my childhood in Nairobi. She received a MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently lives in Madison, WI.  Soyoung briefly explains her latest project at Madison Central Public Library where she has literally merged her literature with art!

‘ When I was six years old, my family moved from Seoul, S. Korea, to Nairobi, Kenya.  It was then that I first learned the value of creating images and connecting with people through art.  When one loses the ability to communicate with words, images become so much more important/valuable.  And while that time in my life where verbal communication was almost nonexistent was short, it left an impression on me.  As with most artists, I have been drawing and painting and making things my whole life.  My goal always is to tell stories, whether it be through writing or art.

I am always trying to figure out different ways to merge the two forms, writing and making art.  I have found that the two often inspire each other.  I have often painted something with a particular character from a story in mind.  And that usually inspires new writing.  I also incorporate writing into my work.

But my latest project involved the two forms in a slightly different way.  One day, I was thinking about recycling my stacks of manuscripts that I’d accumulated over the years.  I had just written a short piece about a memory from growing up in Kenya that involved the ritual of afternoon tea (you can find the piece on my blog:, and that inspired me to make one hundred papier-mache teacups using the pages of my manuscripts.

100 Cups of tea exhibit
100 Cups of tea exhibit

It was gratifying to be able to use the actual paper to make something new that was also inspired by my writing.  I also made a conscious effort to install the teacups in public spaces where people do not normally expect to see art.  My first installation of the teacups was in the storefront of a chocolate shop, Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier.  From there, the teacups moved to a local mystery bookstore, Mystery To Me.  They are now hanging on the wall at the Madison Central Public Library. I’m not sure how the merging of writing and art will continue to evolve, but it is definitely something I love to do. ‘

Soyoung- Oct 2013

I wish her continued success with her work. For further information on Soyoung please visit her website

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