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On the cover: Sound Of Friday II by Yoon Hyup

Sound of Friday II, 2018

Tell us about this issue’s cover artwork, Sound of Friday II…

It’s a night scene of Broadway in Soho, New York. I feel the energy and excitement of people when I see the light that shines on a Friday night, and I feel that energy in the silence of night too. I like to compare the energy of a city to a musical chord. So I entitled the artwork Sound of Friday II.

Can you talk us through the process of creating your pieces?

I like to paint something based on my real experience. Rather than creating something that simply looks good, I try to think carefully about the theme of a picture, what it means to me personally. I paint free-hand. If I need to sketch, I will only outline the very basic structure. You can think of this process as playing jazz – which has a vague plan, but freedom to improvise. When I reconstruct a city scene I try to find a balance between my imagination and the actual appearance.

Gangnam Blvd, 2016

How did you get into art? 

I actually started drawing not at art school, but at music school. I was learning to play classical violin, but I would improvise and get scolded by the teacher. I held out for years, but eventually I dropped it. So when other kids played music, I enjoyed drawing by myself.

You started your career live painting at hip hop parties in Seoul. How has that influenced your later work? 

That was at a friend’s party called Afroking in the early 2000s. Doing live painting with DJs was a different experience to painting in the studio or creating murals on walls outside. I had to finish large paintings in a limited time while the DJ was spinning records. Lines and dots were some of my favourite ways to express the rhythmic feeling without having to sketch. From then on I began to naturally incorporate dots and lines into my work. I continue to do so – the energy of movement I feel when I draw them is difficult to resist.

You are a keen skateboarder. How do your skating and your art overlap?

The feelings of flow I get while painting are similar to when I’m cruising on my board. There are certain patterns and rhythms when you are riding. I feel like I’ve become running water or a brush painting lines down the streets.

Yoon Hyup’s forthcoming exhibition will be a pop-up show held at an as yet undisclosed location in Manhattan. For details and to see more of his work go to

Yoon Hyup photographed next to his piece Summer Breeze, 2016


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