While art may initially captivate us visually, it possesses a profound depth that extends beyond mere aesthetics. Art possesses the unique ability to touch our hearts, stir our thoughts, make us laugh, and even bring tears to our eyes.
Art, moreover, serves as a mirror reflecting various facets of history, culture, and society. It embodies the essence of the artist’s life and the society from which the artist emerges. The artist’s background, unique experiences, and the broader scope of history intricately intertwine to produce a work of art, a tapestry woven with cultural and historical threads. The arts, in turn, offer us a wealth of insights and lessons.
Even seemingly unassuming paintings within our vast artistic heritage carry hints that unveil the cultural and historical backdrop of the artist’s era. Take, for instance, the iconic Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Beyond being a portrait of Lisa Del Giacondo, the wife of a prosperous silk merchant, da Vinci utilizes silk adornments to convey her personal history. He skillfully captures her captivating charm through her famous half-smile. The background, marked by its intriguing incongruity on either side of the subject, paints a portrait of a society in flux. These are the elements that comprise great art — the ability to encapsulate a moment and employ symbolism to narrate a story.
During the Renaissance, luminaries like Leonardo da Vinci harnessed the power of art to chronicle their lives and histories. In our present century, contemporary artists have risen to the challenge of creating artworks that capture the essence of our challenging times.
‘Forever Bloom’ serves as a poignant return to Yee’s distinctive artistic style, urging us to tap into our resilience and inner strength as we navigate the storms of the pandemic, climate crisis, and political turbulence.
This compelling triptych portrays a translucent flower vase cradling blue and white lilies, dramatically illuminated. Hovering in pink neon above is the phrase, ‘Forever bloom.’
In the initial image, the flowers are enshrouded in tinsel, creating an overwhelming and stifling effect. There’s a palpable sense of weight, symbolizing the stress of our times that often conceals or smothers our inner bloom.
The second image witnesses the flowers shedding the tinsel, breathing freely and unadorned.
By the third and final image, the vase is adorned with pink garlands, presenting a fully realized and vibrant image of the subject.
Through these three evocative images, Yee eloquently narrates the soul’s journey from the dark night of sheltering in place to the liberated individual who possesses the self-assuredness to bloom even in the darkest of times.