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Check out Amy Ning’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Ning.

Amy, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
The interracial marriage of my parents, a Japanese woman to my father of Chinese decent was rare in Japan in the 50’s. I was born in Tokyo, brought up with an appreciation for Shinto rituals, while attending an international school of English-speaking, all girls Catholic school. It was a melting pot of children from all across the globe. The attraction for irony in me, could be traced having the influences of both cultures, the restrictive nature of the Japanese and the independent-stressed of the Western. Moving to Los Angeles with my family in 1972 was a culture shock. Being the new Asian kid, back in the days of no sushi restaurants at every corner let alone no hellos from “Hello Kitty” yet, I stood out. Fitting in became somewhat of an obsession.

At school, girls wore bell bottoms and halter tops, the fashion of the 70’s. First day at my new school, my traditional mother informed I dress respectfully by wearing my former Catholic school uniform of skirt and matching tie, white blouse and bobby socks with shiny Mary Janes. Even I thought I was weird! I picked up the art of adapting quickly and sneakers became crucial. Walking home one day, I discovered “hog day”, when high schoolers come around to beat-up on middle schoolers, so I was told from a fleeing kid when I asked why everyone was running. These kid events by no means are culture shocks to the extent of what my parents experienced. Yet, I believe it flavored the path on which I started to walk, compelling to be aware of the two cultures that exist within me. Through art, I seek to find balance between them. Not fitting in opened doors otherwise unopened. I’m happy for my two “happa” sons, growing up in Long Beach, fitting-in was never a question in their minds.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Through my art, I explore the endless journey of finding the balance between two cultures, the East and the West. It is evidenced in my images where I examine and embrace the ambiguity within. Disparity is the protagonist on all of my work. Creating gives me a true sense of freedom and belonging.

I draw inspiration from the energy and wit of Cubist angles. My appreciation of ukiyo-e woodblock art is reflected in my shape-oriented elements and two-dimensional environments. The attraction for subtle gradations of color and texture were perfected during my airbrush period and now achieved digitally. My concepts and drawings are executed traditionally and completed digitally as gyclee prints. The prints are embellished for further manipulation to add texture and noise.

If what the audience sees and takes from my work is their own story, I feel I’ve started a dialogue. My story woven in the paintings are personal and important only to me. I would hope my images will inspire, remind and engage the viewer in a conversation.

How can artists connect with other artists?
There are many shows and exhibit opportunities to submit work. I encourage keeping an eye out for them to participate. An effort to attend opening nights for shows is a plus. Signing up for, i.e., life drawing workshops or painting workshops guarantees meeting other artists.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I have showcased my fine art in exhibitions in Los Angeles and Orange County. Although I am currently not exhibited with a specific gallery, I will be at the Laguna Arts Festival, at Art-A-Fair this summer, July and August. My work can be viewed on my personal site at

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Amy Ning

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