Humans of Tufts: Katie Yang ’24

By Camilla Samuel

 

Sophia Grekin / The Tufts Daily

Sophia Grekin: “What is the most influential advice or motto you live by?”

Katie Yang: “I can’t remember the Latin word for it, but ‘you will always die’ — [memento mori]. Yeah, you will die, basically. In my art I want to do installations and I want to center it around that idea, that you’re gonna die someday.”

SG: “What do you take that to mean?”

KY: “I think a lot of people take it to mean seize the day but, initially — like at least in Latin — [it] means don’t drown yourself in pleasure, do something you want to before you die. I take it as, well, I want to do community service, I want to do civic engagement, I want to do something for the world before I die.”

SG: “Is that your big bucket list item?”

KY: “As of now, but you know, life changes.”

SG: “You said you do art. Do you get to express yourself these days?”

KY: “Not really, even though I’m a fine arts major, I don’t really draw that often.”

SG: “Is drawing your concentration?”

KY: “No, it’s installations. Do you know what installations are?”

SG: “No, please explain them.”

KY: “It kind of originates from sculpture, but it’s more than sculpture — it’s 3D work, but the viewer is supposed to be a part of the experience. So with sculpture, you just kind of look at it. But installation, you have to actually feel it. Installation is almost spatial; you can step into it and look around.”

SG: “What ideas do you have for installations?”

KY: “I have some ideas, nothing implemented — partly because I don’t have the time and it’s expensive. My first idea is kind of like a big screen, maybe a person tall and this wide [she gestures to her wingspan]. My plan is to film graves during the day and then put a camera in front of a grave for fifteen minutes — just record in normal time and put it on the screen. It’s [about taking] such a heavy subject, and sometimes… you have to get over it and just forget about it. But it’s always there, no matter the sunny days and rainy days, the grave is there. People need to be more familiarized with that.”

SG: “That ties into your memento mori, right? Do you have a theme for your art?”

KY: “Yes. I want to focus on that one for now. And then maybe, caring between inter-human relationships. Maybe relationships between friends, lovers and strangers.”


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