SAN FRANCISCO --- I walked by the old Heist Gallery on Geary recently, which has been defunct for some time yet still carries the banner proudly above its doorway, to suddenly see it filled up with new work by D Young V. One can imagine my confusion and sudden optimism. I had spoken with him sometime before about how he was taking a break from art in the Bay and was kind of tired of it. So to see these epic new pieces I was, well, stoked. I called him immediately and soon heard him say "Yeah man, I am using Heist as a studio and I am flying to Hong Kong in September. I just need to see something new and get out of here for a while!"
Words: John Felix Arnold III
So, D Young V is flying to Hong Kong on a journey of personal exploration and of course is bringing some amazing pieces of art to paste into the public sphere, leaving his iconic stamp. The man has been getting in peoples faces, wheat pasting and showing art all over the Bay Area, the Nation, as well as the World for many years now. An artist that arose from the days of Babylon Falling where he was suddenly in a channel with the likes with Robert Bowen, David Choong Lee, Emory Douglas, Christopher Burch, C3 and more, D Young V has taken life by the horns and carved out his own path with tenacity, devotion, and follow-through. He is a force of nature. A no holds barred, talented, extremely hard working, wildly obsessive, driven, hard drinking, sometimes relentless, sometimes compassionate, chain smoking, hard Sci-Fi loving, shit talking machine of creation and destruction. He is a true artist and a truly unique, honest, and genuine human being.
We entered into a great conversation about why he is going, what he hopes to do, how he feels about being an artist in the Bay Area, the conversations going on here, and much more. Here is what he had to say about it all...
D Young V- My reasons for traveling to Hong Kong / China is simply to get out of the comfort zone I've built up in San Francisco over the last few years. I generally like to visit a foreign place and put up work once to twice a year, it breaks up the tedium and allows for new challenges, as well as new ideas to flourish. Every place I visit has a different type of mentality, art culture and way of perceiving the world.
I spent a lot of time the last year and a half researching new places to live/work, and even thought of stopping my pursuit of art all together and going abroad... I'm not even sure if I actually really wanted to leave SF, or just simply change my perception on things (drastically). After my last show at 111 Minna Gallery (with Eddie Colla / Hugh Leeman) last February I decided to take an art hiatus. I was too frustrated, burnt out, disappointed, angry and severely uninspired to continue... I made a 'bucket list' of all the things I wanted to do in my life and haven't yet. Things I have not done either due to lack of money/time, procrastination, fear, etc. Visiting Hong Kong was one of the things on that list. I took all that energy I was putting into art and transferred it to making money to pursue these goals. Art handling, carpentry, bouncing at a local bar, property management and more was what I engaged in. This way every single day I had a different place to go and as well as a new skill to learn. The only issue was that I when I was done with my work days/nights I was going home and not doing art. Overtime this left me empty. I was lacking the purpose and direction that has fueled me and the majority of my decisions for well over a decade now. Every time I attempted to do my art it looked like shit, nothing new was coming in.
I woke up one morning in July super depressed about this... again. So I simply went online researched ticket prices to Hong Kong, called up my several employers to take time off, then bought the ticket. I bought a three week round trip ticket for September. I had no intention yet to do any art on this trip, I just needed to see and experience a new culture. From that morning on my attitude changed drastically, I started to feel that anything was possible again. I started making new large scale colorful paper pieces to wheat paste on my trip, took over the (former) Heist gallery as an art studio, had a collector of mine buy a piece to help fund the trip. Then I hit up everyone I know who may have contacts in HK/ China to make contacts there. Spencer Keeton Cunningham, Eddie Colla, Meggs and Ken Harman all help me on that end... THANKS! After all that, I got a couple mural commissions through Amelia Hyde Gallery here in SF. So....I guess I'm now an artist again. Things started to fall back into place. I got two weeks until I depart and loads and loads of work to finish. I haven't lined up a place to stay yet, I'll figure that out soon.
So as September begins D Young V will be off to Hong Kong. We are excited to be following this prolific art maker's trek through it all and are looking forward ourselves to seeing his exploits and his updates along the way... stay tuned.
You can also find D Young V at http://www.dyoungv.com/