Corey Helford Gallery Presents ‘A Journey’ by Tina Yu

Downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery is proud to announce a solo show from New York-based artist and designer Tina Yu, entitled A Journey, set to premiere Saturday, July 11th in Gallery 3.

Inspired by her childhood, fashion, film, and nature, Yu creates colorful and detailed sculptures using epoxy clay. Her figurines are painstakingly sculpted into mysterious creatures that are ornate, lifelike, and personally meaningful, following her “Double C” (cute and creepy) guiding aesthetic. While one can see the influence of Japanese anime and manga on some of her pieces that feature big heads and kawaii facial expressions; Yu explains that this is influenced by her embracing insecurities she had growing up about her size and the size of her head.

Yu’s newest series A Journey is a fantasy world centered around the artist’s own rumination on childhood and a celebration of growth. She shares, “The world was smaller and brighter when I was younger, and I want to capture that with my art. As a teenager, my biggest challenge in life was not knowing who I was or who I wanted to be. I felt like I was living up to other people’s expectations, whether it was a family member or a teacher, and that has subconsciously affected my artistic identity. Slowly, art becomes therapy for me, a way for me to escape reality and roam around in my imaginary world. In 2016, I graduated from art school and the same year, I made the biggest and scariest but yet, the best decision of my life – to become a freelance artist. For the first time of my life, I felt like I was following my heart and doing something for myself. I think I have found my calling. Gradually, I started developing my own identity in art through sculpting. However, sometimes I feel a little dissociated from my younger self. In the past year, I realized a big part of who I am today has a lot to do with my youth growing up in China.

The characters I created for this show are based on my family, friends, childhood imagination, and things that I loved as a kid. The animal characters in the show have some correlation with my last mini solo show Animal World [premiered at CHG in January 2019]. I created a series of zombie animal characters who died from being abused and then they came back to life as zombies to seek revenge on those who made them suffer. For this show, I’ve recreated animal characters with new identities. They have been reborn into a new colorful fantasy world where there is no pain and suffering. I hope this collection can remind the audience of the small good things in their lives.”

A Journey opens Saturday July 11th from in Gallery 3, alongside a solo show from Hikari Shimoda, entitled Silence and Affirmation, in the Main Gallery and ONCH’s Sweet 16 Group Show, co-curated by designer Onch,in Gallery 2. Corey Helford Gallery is located at 571 S. Anderson St. Los Angeles, CA 90033 and normal hours are Tuesday – Saturday, from 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

About Tina Yu:

Tina Yu is a New York-based artist from China with a BFA from Pratt Institute. After developing an obsession with sculpting in college, she decided to pursue her passion and bring her creations to life. Yu’s aesthetic would best be described by “Double C” – cute and creepy. Drawing inspiration from her childhood, the fashion world, movies, animals, and nature; Yu brings her own flair to the age-old medium. Two questions are sometimes raised about her work: “Why are they nude?” and “Why is the head so big?”. She believes that sometimes we forget the fiction and fantasy aspect of art. While one can see the influence of Japanese anime/manga on some of her pieces that feature big heads and kawaii facial expressions; Yu explains that this is influenced by her embracing insecurities she had growing up about her size and the size of her head. While she is happy just bringing her babies through sculpting, she hopes to one day tell their story and bring it all to life in a movie or series.

About Corey Helford Gallery:

Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) was first established in 2006 by Jan Corey Helford and her husband, television producer and creator, Bruce Helford (The ConnersAnger ManagementThe Drew Carey ShowGeorge Lopez) and has since evolved into one of the premier galleries of New Contemporary art. Its goals as an institution are the support and growth of young and emerging, to well-known and internationally established artists. CHG represents a diverse collection of international artists, primarily influenced by today’s pop culture and collectively encompassing style genres such as New Figurative Art, Pop Surrealism, Neo Pop, Graffiti and Street Art. CHG is located in Downtown Los Angeles in a robust 12,000 square foot building presenting new exhibitions approximately every six weeks.

For more info and an upcoming exhibition schedule, visit CoreyHelfordGallery.com and we also wish to thank Jacob Mask from Chummy Press for the media release.