Gwen Yip was born in Hong Kong. She now lives and works in New Jersey.
She worked as an art director in advertising in Hong Kong, Shanghai, London, and Amsterdam. She was the author of three books which were visual diaries documenting her travel stories.
In 2009, she decided to pursue her passion for painting and enrolled MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design on scholarship. Her works are held in private collections around the world, in countries including the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Hong Kong.
Gwen Yip's paintings transform scenes of urban life into stark minimalist patterns. With a boldly geometric sense of perspective and composition, the artist gives each scene a double-edged presence. While the use of color and line in Yip’s paintings emphasize an almost abstract sense of form, the people break through that abstraction, foregrounding the solitude that exists in the urban world.
Able to vividly convey each subject’s gestures and feelings through a few simple lines or shapes, Yip gives each image a surprisingly emotional tone, bringing the loneliness of the world depicted to life.
“I'm inspired by everyday people in everyday life. I don't really know how to define my style. Below are some writings about my art that can become a reference for you. In my paintings, I show people who are alone, even in the middle of the city. They are isolated, lost in their own thoughts or walking away from the viewer. I also reveal the emptiness of the streets and subway platforms where they are. I use strong colors and clean lines to give each painting a simplicity that both makes us feel the loneliness (silence) of city life and creates its own inner beauty.”