Sonya Yu’s work captures the light & tonality that has transfixed artists and viewers for millennia. Inspired by the artwork of Dutch master painter Johannes Vermeer, whose 17th century paintings possessed such photorealistic qualities that critics speculated the use of mechanical aid from optical technology, Sonya’s creative process departs from the modern digital age by stringently employing analog techniques. Shooting with medium format film and paying further homage to the Dutch master, Yu’s studio conditions echo Vermeer’s, so as to meticulously emulate the same natural light. The result is a work that incites an ambiguity in the viewer's eyes, provoking momentary rumination of whether the pieces are painting or photography. Yu’s work offers a retreat from today’s culture of instant gratification and instills an impetus to immerse oneself in a more intentional and bucolic process.
Sonya Yu, a Bay Area native, currently lives and works in San Francisco.
Portrait by Helena Price