Alumni Profile: Nayeong (Chloe) Oh

posted on April 19, 2018 by
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We're so happy to have Nayeong (Chloe) Oh for our newest Alumni Profile! Huge thanks to her for such a thoughtful interview! Check out more of her work at chloeoh.com

Year/years at YAC?

I was a YACster from 2010 Fall to 2012 Spring, when my family stayed in Monterey for my Dad’s research at Naval Postgraduate School. Finishing my senior year at Monterey High School, I had invaluable time at YAC, admiring peers' art and developing my own with a great support from Meg, Marcia, and Hanni. I was greatly fortunate to be a part of YAC where young creatives are welcomed and encouraged to inspire, respect, and challenge each other to grow in art. I truly appreciated my time at YAC, and this experience led my journey to an art college in San Francisco, CA.

Did you go to college? And if so where?

I went to California College of the Arts (CCA), 2012 - 2016, majored in Interior Design, BA. In my first year at CCA, I used to have hard time selecting classes to enroll because there were so many that I wanted to take. I have explored sculpture, painting, life drawing, architecture/interior design, and video making. It was an eye opening experience that I realized numerous possibilities of mediums and contexts creating art and design. After the grateful year, I had to make a hard decision to choose a focus, and space design has been my passion through the rest of years at CCA and until now.

I am fascinated with space where people can resonate with their memories, stories, and emotions. People miss old home because it is where their old days are contained. When you visit somebody’s place, you can tell what kind of person they are just by looking at their stuff. Through my design, I would love to tell stories of people and community along with spatial devices like light, texture, color and material.

My years at CCA were very challenging but rewarding.

Did you learn elsewhere? Where and How?

In 2017 Fall, I have took a short course called Set Design for Film/TV Shows at Central Saint Martins in London. It was a fun experience to get a sense of set production side in the entertainment industry. Set design and art direction for shows, events, and films are definitely my keen interests since they create atmosphere and set tones, realizing a fictional space.

I have been trying to read more books and magazines to stay open to new inspirations and ideas. Currently, I am reading Flesh and Stone written by Richard Sennett. The writer provides rich insights into interaction between the human body and the spaces of the city it inhabits. It is interesting that ancient civilizations and modern cites are formed according how physical body (flesh) was treated and considered in the specific era, culture, and religion. Also, there is a small magazine store nearby my place called Kiosk Cafe, where I love to go to get a good coffee and flip through pages. This place has an extensive selection of design and architecture magazines that are up to date.

Tell us about what you’re doing now.

Currently, I am based in London, working as an environment designer at Dolby Laboratories. I first joined Dolby HQ in San Francisco after college in 2016 Fall. As an environment design intern, I have supported establishing brand design guidelines for Dolby worldwide offices and implemented them in branches in China, London, Poland, etc. After a ten months of internship in SF, I transferred to Dolby London office as an associate environment designer last summer. In London, I have been supporting visual design localizations in EMEA and Dolby Art implementations in global offices and events in addition to my original roles. It has been a valuable learning experience to collaborate in the in-house design team, since everyone contributes different skill sets and ideas form multi-disciplinary backgrounds.

What has inspired you along the way?

Travels and movies always bring inspirations and new insights. I love to try new food, visit museums, observe people, take pictures, and stroll along foreign streets, sometimes without Google Map. I think it’s a process of building my own taste and collecting references that might be useful for future projects. Thankfully, I have had some chances to explore Europe and Asia for personal trips and work travels while staying in London. I don’t think I will get tired of traveling since there are new findings every time on the road.

Watching movies and reading reviews are another joyful things to do in my down time. My recent favorites were The Shape of Water by Guillermo Del Toro and Blade Runner 2049 by Denis Villeneuve. I admire whole production process of films especially creating artwork, set, lighting, and color grading that take audience to a different world. One day, I hope to be a part of an art department team and contribute my skills to tell stories.

Favorite YAC memories?

I will definitely pick annual ARTathon for my first favorite. Working on art for 24 hours sounds a bit crazy but you end up enjoying and feeling accomplished. Also, when I listen to Don’t Stop 'Til You Get Enough, it takes me back to my old days at YAC. I think this track was in Meg’s frequent playlist. I didn’t know the song at that time, but I came across randomly after all and recognized it as “YAC song”. I remember the library filled with photography, paintings, and illustrations books. My favorite selections were photography books, surrealism painting books, and National Geography series. There were plenty of materials to use for subjects, inspirations, and references. I loved digging into different books and mesmerized until I find something to draw and paint.

A mention about the value of YAC.

I completely agree with Congressman Sam Farr’s words: “I think there should be a YAC in every city in America”. Actually, “every city in the world” would be better! YAC does make difference to individuals and the community with a huge impact. Having a warm hearted and unconditional support to your dream is priceless especially when you are going through high school and college. At YAC, you find what to pursue and how to get prepared for all the glorious opportunities coming to you.

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