Her work doesn’t hang in any gallery, yet Dain Yoon is recognised as South Korea’s premier nouveau artist. Meet the optical illusionist whose artwork is turning heads.
When we experience a visual illusion, we may see something that is not there or fail to see something that is there. Because of this disconnect between perception and reality, optical illusions demonstrate how the brain can fail to re-create the physical world. But what happens when we take this concept into the art world?
Last night, I was scrolling through my Instagram Explore page and stopped and took a double-take. The thumbnail was so trippy that I had to tap on it. And just to clear your mind – no, this is not Photoshopped.
Dain Yoon is an illusion artist from South Korea known on Instagram for her face and body painting. The illusions are incredibly detailed with life-like features, especially the eyes. Using Yoon’s face as a canvas, she either paints intricate designs on her face or often blends in with the environment around her.
When Ellen DeGeneres invited Dain Yoon to appear on her show, her audience probably wasn’t expecting the viral artist to appear in the most mind-boggling disguise. During the interview, she Yoon: “my face is the most powerful medium of art. I can use my canvas to express my individuality”
Sometimes she is a blur, while other times, she has more than one face, so realistic that it can be hard to know where to look. Yoon has been in the art industry since the age of ten. After majoring in stage design and applying make-up to others, the versatility of make-up is one step further. Today she has collaborated with brands like Apple and BMW. Still, her rise to fame stems from Instagram, where she displays countless amounts of facial masterpieces, optical illusions and performance art for her over 580K followers.
Yoon starts all her pieces by making sketches of the outcome. She then turns to her canvas, where she paints on an outline using cosmetics, fine art paint, face paint and accessories to fill in the missing content – sitting still for hours on end. Now that’s what you call hand-eye coordination.
But its impermanence makes it all that unique and precious – they are optical illusions you must see to believe.