Q&A: Art Award Winner, junior Ashley Chon

Junior Ashley Chon’s artwork “Piece by Piece” (Photo submitted by Ashley Chon)

As part of the
Texas PTA Reflection Program, junior Ashley Chon recently received the “Award of Excellence” for her art work “Piece by Piece.” The theme for this year was, “I Matter Because,” and Chon will be formally recognized in an award ceremony this June.

Q: What made you interested in art? When were you first introduced to it?

Chon: “I was first introduced to art when I was around 7 years old because there was a doctor who drew little figures with me whenever my grandpa was really sick. I instantly became interested in art because of the many mediums and styles which allow you to express who you are as an individual.”

Q: Do you have any artist(s) who inspire you or serve as a role-model?

Chon: “Yes, there are many artists who inspire me. Someone in particular would be Shin Saimdang, a Korean painter in the 15th century. Her unique style inspires me, along with the fact that she was a woman who did art during a period in which women didn’t have a voice. Although her pieces look basic and simple, they’re actually very complex.”

Q: What was the significance behind your painting “Piece by Piece?” What does it mean to you?
Chon: “The theme behind the competition was, “Why do you Matter?” In the beginning I did a lot of thinking behind this prompt and then I realized I was thinking too much about why others think I matter. So [“Piece by Piece”] is representing me trying to break through the barrier of different opinions about me. To me, it means that I matter because I am satisfied with who I am right now. Not what others think.”

Q: Describe the process behind creating your work. How long did it take?

Chon: “In my piece, I used acrylic paint, water colors, puzzle pieces and sheets torn off from a book. In order to create the piece, I had to sketch the proportions of the face while calculating where and how I was going to use puzzle pieces. After sketching, I then added the base color of the face while adding the shadow, value and texture of the painting. Then, I added the puzzle pieces while attaching the book pages. Finally, I went over the puzzle pieces with watercolor paint. The entire process took around one month or two, which was surprisingly short.”

Q: What made you interested in entering the competition? What was your reaction when you won?

Chon: “I was interested in entering the competition because I wanted to see how people would react to my style of art. I also wanted to see other peoples’ pieces as well. When I received the email saying my piece won, I was in awe. I was also thankful because I didn’t think my piece was good enough to receive an award.”

Q: Do you plan on pursuing art as a career or is it more of just a hobby/passion?

Chon: “I don’t know whether I want to. Right now, I do art because I want people to receive comfort and to elicit emotions from people when they look at my art. I also want to learn more about different styles of art.”