Get to Know... Yolanda Chiu

Get to Know Yolanda Chiu

by Alec Kissoondyal

Yolanda Chiu's artistic journey has led her from her home in Taiwan all the way to Gainesville, Florida where she currently resides. She has acquired a unique variety of skills over the years, and her ability to incorporate past experiences into her current projects can be seen in her artwork.

"I worked in the fashion industry when I was twenty," Yolanda says. "There was a lot of stuff going on, and I was really tired of it, so I decided to retire from it." After leaving the fashion industry behind, Yolanda discovered another outlet for her creativity: Metal work.

It was during her time studying jewelry and Metal Arts at the Academy of Art University that she began to draw from her past to shape her present. "I was looking for another path, and I found metal work, and I really liked it. When I was in school developing my thesis, the instructors asked us to do something on ourselves, so I looked back to my past. I would say that my fashion career wasn't successful, so I didn't want to look back, but it was a self inspection for myself, so I decided to combine my present work with my past work."

This exercise in self-reflection would prove useful, especially in much of her current work, which focuses heavily on meticulously crafted an anatomically accurate metal dolls.

"In the fashion industry, we used a lot of models, and I really like the human body. When you use models, you have to look at the body type and decide whether it fits the clothes or not. When I am in museums, I observe statues of the human anatomy. A lot of old works involve female bodies. I was drawn to that, and I worked in the fashion industry, so I was drawn to the human anatomy, especially females. This is why all of my dolls are female."

Yolanda also cites different historical periods as inspiring her art as well.

"I take inspiration from Art Nouveau and the Victorian period. Their jewelry is so intricate, and I like the fashion style. At the same time, I like simple stuff, so I like to combine simple elements and complex elements together in my work."

dave kosciolek