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Surreal Situations: Art by Yume

A stylized painting of a mermaidDeep Thoughts... acrylic on wood

Yume was born in Osaka, Japan, and moved to Los Angeles at the age of six. Her artworks are illustrative and symbolic, often featuring female figures in surreal situations or elaborate costume.

A painting of a woman with black hairMod Girl, acrylic on paper board


I like the way Yume incorporates framing into many of her painted works. She doesn’t stop with a square panel or canvas, but surrounds solitary figures in fancifully carved and decorated frames that often match the background color of the image. This visual method introduces a strong sense of physicality, grounding the artwork itself as an object while the figure depicted within becomes more esoteric.

A screen capture of Yumi Knight's art websiteThe front page of Yumi's art website


In some of her works, Yume incorporates pop-culture figures, like in her caricatures of the Beatles. The bright colors and splashy paint techniques seen in these works remind me a little of work by Amber Petersen. Yume often builds up pop culture figures out of aluminum can tabs, pasting the tabs onto a small canvas and painting around them in acrylic.

A painted coffin-shaped boxPretty in Pink, acrylic on wooden box

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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