5×5: Yunah Lee-Choi


Yunah Lee-Choi is a young artist currently based in Seattle. What really sets her art apart are the scientific elements present throughout, from veins to neurons to cells. Not surprising, considering that Yunah received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Washington in 2013. We may not have followed the steps of the scientific method in our inquiry process, but we still had a grand time asking Yunah questions and trying to puzzle out more pieces of this enigmatic emerging artist.

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1) Did you ever consider studying art at the collegiate level, or did you always know that it would be science?

Honestly, I did not know what I would study when I started school. I took some art classes at my university but I found them to be very subjective. I find that art is more about how I, as an individual, see things in the world and there is no right or wrong way to go about it. One of my favorite quotes is: “To develop a complete mind: study the science of the art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses – especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” It really pulls it all together for me and explains why I chose the path that I did.

2) Some of your drawings fall into series of veins, neurons, cells and DNA – is there a particular system that fascinates you more than the others? Why does it particularly appeal to you on an artistic level?

I find all of them very interesting. They all have to be present and functioning for us to do what we do. I try to find beautiful and fascinating aspects in every part of the body and try to represent it artistically. But that being said, DNA is pretty awesome.

3) Who do you really admire, in both the realms of science and art?

Hands down, Leonardo da Vinci. He started out as an artist but became so much more because he had so many interests about the world. His thoughts and ideas were truly ahead of his time. His famous Vitruvian Man is a great example of how he combined art and science! I believe he was one of the greatest minds in history.

4) The weirdest/coolest/most prized possession in my studio is:

My test tubes. They hold my brushes, pens, pencils and other tools. I also use them to hold water, paint thinner, etc. It is really a great way to keep all the colors separate and clean. :)

5) Do you like listening to music while you create? If so, what kind?

Always! Music is a huge influence on my work. The mood of the song is the mood of my work. Therefore, I listen to a little bit of everything. My favorites are Crywolf & Ianborg, Glass Animals and Ludovico Einaudi.

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Check out Yunah’s scientific art for yourself in her Nuvango portfolio, or connect via Instagram @yunahleechoi.

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