Denton artist Yenphi Mimi Le, who goes by “Mimi,” grew up in Lubbock, TX, where she studied Apparel Design & Manufacturing her first year at Texas Tech University. She has received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Ceramics at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. At her time at UNT, she also concentrated on Relief printmaking & sculpture. She currently adapts her animated sculptures from her whimsical 2-dimensional prints, allowing her to correlate and give different perspectives to two different dimensions and mediums. She incorporates her sewing & fabric skills as well into her sculptures.
As a ceramic sculptor and painter, my current concentration has been character and creature building, placed within an invoking thematic scenario. My goal is to construct an eccentric animated world of personified animals with humans interacting within it. Character designing truly helps me get in touch with my inner child, and express myself as an adult. It helps me to envision and produce a fantastical world that I would’ve enjoyed viewing when I was young. I believe it’s essential that we don’t forget what we’ve enjoyed viewing when we were children and why we enjoyed it. The characters from my favorite movies and books will never depart my mind, and I will always cherish them and the artists who originated them.
They have inspired me to entertain audiences with my art, and to recreate that emotion, nostalgia, vision, and inspiration that I felt as a child. Merging fantastical themes with the contemporary to evoke a “time of naivety” is the challenge that motivates my art.
I aim for my work to invoke random childhood memories (& even fears) and the forgotten imagination we once possessed. Working with clay gives me the ability to manifest my humorous visions, personify animals, and to create a thematic scenes between characters. When creating my characters I generate narratives, personalities, interactions, and even their clothing. I incorporate mixed medias including fabric (that I sew), acrylic paints and stains to finish them. Most recently, I have adapted a few of my sculptures from my 2-dimensional Relief prints to give perspective to two different dimensions. I created a series of relief prints exposing my phobias, and translated them into valiant animated scenarios.
Although my characters and narratives are predetermined before I sculpt them, it is more satisfying to me when my viewers fabricate their own stories when they view it. Everyone has their own unique minds and histories, and it’s so intriguing to learn what my art evokes within their memories.
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