Artist of the Month: junior Cat Yu
The Oracle: Do you have a role model? If so, who or what?
Cat Yu: I aspire to be able to completely capture a person’s attention with a piece; to create a piece that really lingers in that person’s mind.
TO: What do you like the most about photography?
CY: I like how a photo can be used for so many different purposes, from capturing a moment to conveying a message. I love being able to share how I see the world with other people.
TO: What made you continue photography?
CY: I don’t think there’s a definite reason or cause that’s made me stick with photography. I just know that I love everything about it, the fun and the frustration.
TO: What is difficult about photography?
CY: Photography is all about light. It can be hard at times to find or create the perfect lighting. Lightroom and other photo editing software can digitally improve an image, but for film, it’s harder. It is frustrating, but still really fun, trying to get the right amount of contrast using dodging and burning.
TO: What types of things do you like to take pictures of?
CY: I love taking pictures of nature. Particularly in nature, I like getting extreme close-ups of something like the underside of a leaf. With this shot, I can point the focus to the thin veins and razor-like edges that are the composition of the leaf, whereas in a normal shot, all that detail is lost.
TO: How did you start photography?
CY: From a young age, I’ve always been into different forms of art. I have experience with different mediums, from drawing to oil painting and to glass blowing.
TO: What made you continue?
CY: I don’t think there’s a definite reason. I just know that I love everything about it, the fun and the frustration.
TO: How has photography affected you?
CY: Photography has made me appreciate the earth and the things living on it. Photography has shown me that “beauty” is not “pretty”. Beauty can be found in the most unexpected people and places, and lost in superficial, made up faces. It has also given me a new way to connect and meet new people.
TO: What is your proudest photo?
CY: The piece I’m most proud of at the moment is a black and white negative of my friend, Torey, that I made an enlargement of. I’m proud of it not because I believe it’s particularly stunning, but because of the time and effort I spent in the dark room working on it.
TO: Will you continue photography in the future? Do you think you will pursue it as a career?
CY: I will definitely continue to take pictures, even if it’s not professionally. At the moment I’m unsure about my future career. I may end up pursuing a career that incorporates both mediums, like photojournalism. This summer I’m studying in CalArts at a program called California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA). I applied to major in photography and to minor in painting and will be immersing myself in both mediums. I talked with an alumnus who told me attending CSSSA was what made her decide to become an art major. I’m excited to improve my art and see if this is something I want to seriously commit to.
—Compiled by Eileen Qian