Pei-Yu Is Happy!

Hey Pei-Yu! What are five things that the world should know about you and your art?

Hi, my name is Pei-Yu Huang, sometimes friends call me Happy. I am 22 years old. I’m studying visual communication design in Taiwan and going to graduate from college this year. I also have a day-job teaching children to draw and sculpt. In my free time, I like to stay at home and make things. I think art always represents the creator and the situation in their heart, or what they’ve been through. Sometimes it’s a way to express yourself. My art is centered around the belief in “happiness”, and the creation of a world of make-believe. Everything depends on my life, and what mood I’m in. Although the world I create is so colourful, I’m not great at thinking positively. Whenever I feel depressed, I listen to music. Then I paint. 

Your figurines are adorable! Can you tell me a bit about the process behind making them?

Thank you! First, I used clay to sculpt the models, then I filled the silicone mold. Then I made a mold for copying, and filled the mold with resin at the end. It actually took a lot of time (sometimes as much as a day), but I was very involved in the process.

© Pei-Yu Huang

You have some recurring characters (a dog-like creature, a cat-like creature, a pink rabbit, etc). Do you name your characters? If so, what are their names?

Actually, when I think about it, Happy is not me — it’s the creature I created to accompany me. I don’t define Happy as being “she” or “he”, they’re constantly changing, depending on the situation. Happy is my best friend, and I think they represent me too. When Happy was created, I felt happier than before and began to learn how to enjoy being alone. At the beginning, all the characters were dog-creatures, and then they started becoming other animals/creatures. My main character is Happy, the others are Happy’s friends. They don’t really have a name or a gender. But I think they are kids, not adults. 

I love your picture frame sculptures! I feel a sense of nostalgia when looking at the photos you put in them, paired with the child-like, cute imagery of your characters. What inspired this idea?

One day I passed by my mom’s room, and her desk was full of photo frames. I saw them everyday, but they never looked so clear until that day. The photo inside was of me when I was 5. The feeling of being remembered is warm, but it’s also sad that this generation all of our photos online, instead of in our rooms or on our desks. We used to carefully select the most perfect and memorable photo in the frame. I think it’s meaningful and romantic to print out photos and frame them, so I created what I call the “Happy Photo Booth.” The picture I put in the frame that I created was me when I was kid, my childhood best friend is also in the photo. 

© Pei-Yu Huang

One of your more recent posts is a table that you created. The idea of functional sculptures with cartoonish decorative elements is super cool! Do you see yourself making more functional sculptures or furniture in the future?

Yes! I’d love to try making more different kinds of things. I often make things without any idea or place to start. The little table is a work that suddenly appeared in my mind. I saw the hair clip I made first and wanted to find a home for it, so I made a small table to put it on. 

© Pei-Yu Huang

As an artist that works with many mediums and creates a wide array of art, do you enjoy creating some things more than others? If so, why?

Making new things is always excited and fun to me. I like the unexpected things more than following specific steps. I think that there is more than one way of expressing what everyone knows, and I want to try using more interesting mediums!

© Pei-Yu Huang

What do you think inspires your work most?

Life, loneliness, personality, and emotions. I am a very sensitive person and it is very easy to detect the emotions of the people around me and the situation that I’m in. Sometimes I feel like giving up, so I created the concept of “believe happiness”, or following what I truly believe in to create happiness. I think Happy helps me to get closer to the bright sight and keeps me from being depressed. The future I hope to achieve is to convey positive energy and love to teach others tolerance and dedication.

Your use of color is always so cool! I love your pastel palette, especially in your illustrations. Do you have a favorite color? If so, what does that color make you think of?

Thank you! I really love soft and light colours. I don’t really have a favourite colour — sometimes it’s blue, purple, white. If I had to choose a favorite, I’d choose white. To me, white is like Mother Earth, just add a little colour, and it will be beautiful and bright (at least in my imagination). 

© Pei-Yu Huang

Any shoutouts that you wanna give? Anything you wanna tell folks reading?

1. I hope that people can pay more attention to connection in society, what happens in life, and the people around them. Don’t forget to care about those who love you. 

2. We are small compared to nature. Try to reduce the use of disposable tableware and use reusable tableware! I think it’s important!

3. Everything revolves around love and peace. 

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