Born in 1983, abstract painter Jewelle Yeung initially set her sights on fashion. She attributes her formal education in fashion and art to the UK. After completing an undergraduate in Fashion Design and Technology at the University of the Arts, her design career took off at Hussein Chalayan and Puma International Black Station. But it was Yeung’s devotion to painting that stole her away from the fashion world completely. The artist obtained a Masters Degree in Fine Arts at the City and Guilds of London Art School.
Yeung’s work explores the interaction between light and matter. Intrigued by the consequence of the way light is reflected, retracted, and diffracted in the earth’s atmosphere, giving life to new form and color, she tends to look at her pieces as emotional interpretations of optical phenomena within nature. Inspired by nature and the notion of the unknown, Jewelle uses vivid strokes and soft blends through oil, to create subliminal landscapes with morphed representations of familiar organisms, encapsulating the transition between reality and the surreal.
It was 15 years before Yeung’s Chinese-Filipino roots brought her back home to Asia. She now creates her art in her studio in Hong Kong and in Cebu. Her works have been in exhibits in Hong Kong, the Philippines and New York among others.
How do you define your womanhood?
I have a natural tendency to nurture things. I tend to want to take care of everyone and everything.
What is your profession? What is your story?
Right now, I am an entrepreneur. Yesterday, I was an artist, and 7 years ago, I was a designer.
I have always been an artist with a corporate mind. I struggled with the choice of pursuing fine art or fashion, but eventually ended up pursuing a degree in Fashion. Frustrated with fashion, I went on to complete my Masters degree in fine art but then got head hunted for a job in fashion. I did this for 3 and half years before I decided to become a full time artist, which brought me back to Asia. In Asia, I explored other modes of creative expression while painting — film, architecture, branding, interior design. I recently started a lifestyle brand focusing on homeware and home décor.
Who do you look up to?
My brother. He manages to work on 10 million things at once and still remain completely calm and collected. He is definitely my go to person for advice.
Which do you value more: love, or work? Why?
Love, no question. I did the ‘work’ thing for several years. It was lonely, stressful and extremely unhealthy, both physically and mentally. There comes a point when you realize… life is too short.
How would you define your lifestyle? Choose any from the following (and explain why):
I’ve been very blessed to enjoy a few perks here and there.
I trend to gravitate towards minimalist styles, particularly in design but my life and my home is far from minimalist. I find it so hard to get rid of things!
I actually prefer the quiet times nowadays, but I am definitely never bored. I’m lucky enough to live in a country where nature is in abundance, there is always something intriguing around me. Sometimes I have to go look for it (diving), and sometimes it finds me (unpredictable weather).
What inspires you?
Nature, the natural evolution of things, compassion, working hard doing something you are passionate about.
What is your dream holiday getaway?
Safari glamping style…. ok, glamping is the icing on the cake, I’d be happy with just a safari 🙂
What are your favorite beauty tips?
Water, sleep, clean eating. More recently I’ve been transitioning to completely organic and natural beauty/skincare products with minimal ingredients, some of which I make myself. I found out recently that it takes 30 seconds for something to reach your bloodstream after it touches your skin.
If everyone in the world was comprised of 2 elements, which would yours be?
Water and air. Water, because scuba diving takes me to my happy place. Air because….you need it to go underwater lol
What makes you feel empowered?
My family, learning new things, exercising, taking care of my body inside and out, routine.
When do you feel most empowered?
Probably in the mornings, after the gym and working through my to do list. Being organized sets me up for the day.
Using any kind of descriptor how would you describe your look?
– Minimal with the occasional pop of red lipstick
– Messy or tied up
On special occasions:
– Subtle pop of colour
– Hint of retro
– Hint of punk
– Zoe Kravitz
Do you feel that it’s important to stay up to date with technology?
In this day and age, yes.
How do you interact with technology around you?
It’s not too bad for me. It’s evolving pretty quickly though. Too many updates, too many gadgets…. but I get by. I love technology. Still waiting for the teleportation machine.
Are you someone who considers future trends, today?
Not really. I like what I like. If it looks good on me then great. I tend to go for things that flatter my personal shape and color rather than what is trending.
If so, how do you stay ahead of the trends?
Honestly I don’t. I have tons of clothes I still wear from a decade ago, I’ll just style it differently, I’m always mixing something old with something new. Come to think of it, I don’t even know what’s trending right now.
What do you seek most from relationships?
Genuineness. Too many people hide behind a facade of what they want people to think of them. The hidden agenda makes me very cautious. Being real seems to be a rare breed nowadays.
How do you describe your look?
I generally dress quite simple. Minimal with a pop of something edgy. Definitely not girly, although I wouldn’t write off a floral print now and again. I am definitely a t-shirt and jeans type of girl, but can scrub up well if I need to. Comfort is key in what I wear.
What is your favorite workout/how do you stay healthy?
I switch it up so I don’t get bored. Some days I do 30-40 mins of HIIT, others I’ll run for 45-60mins then finish off with Pilates, then I alternate between doing weights. It’s always a mixture of these three during the week, but never on the same day.
What do you love about your best friend?
His humour. I love to laugh, and he has an ability to make light of any bad or awkward situation.
What does Christmas mean to you?
Family, love, reflection, forgiveness.
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