If you haven’t had a chance to see the art installation by Mia Yoon in the mews at Park Central, then make it a priority. A gorgeous representation of the beautiful and awe-inspiring Northern Lights, this project was as ambitious as it was time-consuming. Taking over a year to create and install, and created specifically for that space, each globe that comprises the installation was not only made by hand, but screwed into the ceiling “canvas” by hand. We recently spoke with Mia to learn more about the creation process, her path through the art world, and what she has planned next for her next great abstract installation.

An inspired installation by an artist constantly seeking inspiration.

Mia Yoon was driven to be an artist from an early age, attending the well-regarded Art Students League of New York as a teenager, then Pratt Institute to continue her classical training as an artist. After taking a break to travel and visit Korea for longer than she originally planned, she found herself drawn back into the art world and creating art in a small studio. But something wasn’t fulfilling, and she knew she needed a new source of inspiration. After a visit to Art Space, where she met an abstract painter, she was encouraged to go see an Antoni Tapies exhibit at the Guggenheim, whose work left her standing there feeling like she had been hit with a brick. This led to a four-year period where she dedicated herself and her time to learning everything she could about abstract art and how to create it.

This period led to her fascination with the creation of three-dimensional art, created primarily with a table saw, which a friend taught her how to use. Incorporating light into her pieces, she focused on creating unique three-dimensional pieces for 10 years. Finding that she again wasn’t fulfilled with doing this type of art, she recognized that what she was inspired by was scale and color. Which leads her to today, where her abstract three-dimensional installations are typically colorful and on a very large scale.

Can art move people as much as music?

Fascinated with the impact music has on people and how it moves them emotionally through just sound and melody, Mia wanted to make art that would do the same thing. Creating objects on such a large scale allows her to reach people more so than someone who is doing a two-dimensional, much smaller painting on a canvas, and the use of colors almost always invokes feelings in any viewer. Mia ultimately seeks to be more cerebral with her work, and encouraging of interaction with people’s feelings and spirituality. As inspiration, she looks to artist Dan Flavin. His retrospective and light installation she saw in Washington D.C. in 2006 literally moved her to tears. That entire show captured what Mia is trying to do with her work, which is create art that simply moves people to feel. But she’s clear that she will move on if it ever becomes boring, and when her heart guides her to the next art medium.

What’s next for Mia?

After doing this installation, an installation for WRAL, and one for the new Rex Hospital, as well as a smaller scale installation for private investors, Mia is simply going to take a break. But it won’t be long before she’s back to work on a new installation, as she has a lot of ideas in her head that she’d like to execute. Mia is very appreciative of the fact she has been so busy, and she credits visionary developers like John Kane who recognize that a space can be so much more if you incorporate art, particularly public art. She is seeing a trend in other developers who also commission works for the public or gathering areas of their buildings and campuses, but there is still a tremendous opportunity for increased involvement of the artist community than there presently is. Mia looks forward to the day when art isn’t an afterthought, but an integral element of the creation of a development.

If you are interested in learning more about Mia and seeing other installations, visit her website. After taking a much-needed break, we’re sure she’d love to talk to anyone who wants to beautify a large-scale space with one of her creations.