Being Invisible: Jin Young Yu transparent people


Korean Jin Young Yu‘s sculptures are extremely delicate and melhancolic. Her gallery of characters exudes an almost excruciating discomfort in social exposure…

Jin Young Yu patiently works with clay and PVC, in a painstaking and time consuming process, as you can read in an interview for Arrested Motion here. The resulting sculptures seem to carry the emotional signs of their inherent fragility.

Feet united, arms and hands frozen in unnatural stiffness, the expressions either on the verge of tears or paralyzed in a tense and unnatural neutrality, the invisible people of Jin Young Yu appear socially clumsy and unsuccessful, thus invisible.

I’ve known these works since quite a few years now, but they’ve come to my mind again while I am reading Susan Cain‘s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. Jin Young Yu‘s ethereal and fragile creatures embody a sense of social isolation, uneasiness and defeat. Some of them are forced to wear accessories with happy faces and all of them look as if they were forcing themselves to fit in a world that expects social extroversion from everyone.

Susan Cain‘s book questions the extrovert ideal upon which contemporary society seems to judge positive and successful people. Jin Young Yu‘s invisible people materialize an absolute emotional distress, the one possibly triggered by the dominance of a cultural model than only awards the extroverts.

Jin Young Yu website

Susan Cain website



2 responses to “Being Invisible: Jin Young Yu transparent people

  1. Wow! They look so sad and lonely, with their happy-face-masks. Beautiful sadness.

  2. Yes, they look doomed to be unappreciated in their silent beauty within a cheerfully screaming world. But we do love them, don’t we?
    This artist is so deeply sensitive. Thanks for sharing with me appreciation for it!

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