Bottled Up 瓶装女孩

December 21, 2020 2020年12月21日

Lauren YS is an LA-based street artist who paints murals of femme characters afloat within self-contained galaxies. Often encapsulated in bottles like ship miniatures, these women appear alongside elements that cull from disparate sources of inspiration, such as freak shows, animal-related folklore, and witchcraft.

洛杉矶街头艺术家 Lauren YS 的壁画作品描绘了许多漂浮在空中的女孩,并将她们置身于奇思妙想的独立星系。这些女孩常常封装于比身体大一些的玻璃瓶中,发射并通往未知的境地。她的作品通常裹挟着形形色色的灵感源泉:动物民间传说、巫术、纹身等等。

YoungSmith (which is what the YS stands for) is a wanderer, collecting motifs from different cultures and incorporating them into murals while painting across the globe. “I love freehanding murals because there’s an opportunity for the piece to change organically and reflect some of the experience or landscape of the location I’m painting in,” they say. “My process is very experiential. I love being able to add little details or narrative elements, things I hadn’t planned prior. I have a very porous brain—the things around me tend to bleed into my work uncontrollably.”

YoungSmith(YS 的全称)仿佛一个漫游者,穿梭于各种文化之间,并汲取的元素融入到她在全球各地创作的壁画作品当中。她说:“我喜欢徒手绘画,因为这样创作出的作品更加自然,尽量让作品融入当地特色和风景。创作过程中,我会非常追求实验性,喜欢添加一些细节或叙事元素,一些计划之外的元素。我的大脑对周围环境很敏感,捕捉着各种各样的事物,然后不由自主地糅合到我的作品中。”

Youngsmith also includes plenty of nods to their Chinese heritage in their art, which has recently included stories their late grandmother shared with them. In one piece, objects that they remember from their grandmother’s house are paired with an alien language designed in the likeness of Mandarin Chinese. “I was raised mainly by a single mother and my grandmother, my popo,” YoungSmith says. “We lost her recently and the grief I went through was accompanied by an intense feeling of untethering from my culture. ‘If I no longer have any palpable link to China, am I still Chinese?’”

另外,她还喜欢在艺术作品中加入她所熟悉的中国文化。在她最近的一幅作品中,其灵感来源于她已故外婆曾经向她讲述的故事。她尝试描绘出记忆中外婆家里的摆设,墙上的文字字体则看起来像是中国汉字。YoungSmith 说:“我从小就是母亲和外婆照顾长大的。外婆的去世让我深感悲伤,又让我有了一种与自己根源文化脱节的感觉。当我失去与中国所有直接联系,我还会算是一个中国人吗?”

One major element in Youngsmith’s work, the bottled women, is perhaps the most obvious China-inspired elements of their art: the recurring motif has roots in Chinese snake wine. After a trip home to China, they learned about the medicinal beverage, which can still be found in many wet markets. Each bottle is typically sold with an entire snake preserved in the high-proof booze. “I became obsessed,” YoungSmith laughs. The bottles have evolved to symbolize the spaces they associates with safety in the real world as well as the invisible confines of their inner world. “I’ve always found peace in enclosed spaces; be it a room, a car, or my mind,” Youngsmith says. “The world of an artist is often born from safe little worlds within other worlds.” And with their murals, these bottles became a framing device for their intricate compositions.

“瓶装女孩” 是艺术家 Lauren YS 在作品中最常见的主题,而这个主题的灵感却源于中国蛇酒。在一次中国之行,她初次见识了用蛇浸泡的酒,这是一种在菜市场中可以找到的传统中药,在高浓度的烈酒中,泡存着一整条蛇。 “蛇酒让我觉得很着迷。” YoungSmith 笑着说。她将这些瓶子视为在现实世界中的安全空间以及她内心世界的无形边界。她说:“呆在封闭的空间能让我心情平静;无论是房间、汽车或是我的内心。一个艺术家的世界往往是存在于其他世界中的另一个充满安全感的小世界。”在她的壁画中,这些瓶子成为了精繁复杂的画框。

The characters Youngsmith paints are nearly exclusively women, or at least partially women—oftentimes, they’re hybrid creatures who are mixed with animal or other entities: “I don’t like being pigeonholed as a ‘femme artist,’ but I can’t ignore the importance the femme experience plays in my identity and place in the world. I’ve always made work that is sort of diaristic, and it would be remiss of me not to discuss women in my work. It’s also extremely important to me to promote the representation of women who are not ‘perfect’ the way the media often touts.”

YoungSmith 所绘画的几乎是清一色女性角色,或是至少带有明显女性特征的角色,即便是由动物或其他物体组成的半人半兽。她说:“我不喜欢被当成‘女性艺术家’,但我也无法忽略女性对我个人认知和对世界看法的影响。我在创作时总像在记录着自己的生活,如果女性没出现在我的作品里,那会是我创作上的失职。对于我来说,我还想多展示一些不同于舆论宣传的女性’完美’形象,这一点对我的创作来说也十分重要。”

All of this—the ideas of identity, exploration, and family—is pulled together with a thoroughly Western aesthetic that marries cartoons, comics, and street art. YoungSmith’s broad-themed ideas are all communicated in a fun, globally understandable visual vernacular, building off cultural history and continuing them through contemporary ideas. Youngsmith’s paintings have an instant appeal but also a staying power, catching a viewer’s eye quickly and holding it.

所有这些关于身份、探索和家庭观念,通过糅合卡通、漫画和街头艺术的西方美学呈现而出。YoungSmith 将自己宽泛的创作灵感,以人人都能理解的有趣视觉语言传达开来;以文化历史为基础,用现代创意延传。她的画作既有瞬间的吸引力,又令人过目难忘:先迅速吸引观众的目光,再以丰富细节引人入胜。

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Contributor: Mike Steyels
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li

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Instagram: @squid.licker


供稿人: Mike Steyels
英译中: Olivia Li

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