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Meet Mary Jhun

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Jhun.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born in Kawit, Cavite, PI and arrived in the US at a young age. When I was 8, that was the first time I remembered picking up pencils and doodling. I spoke a good amount of English but I was still coming out of having a Filipino accent that I was insecure about as a child. I wanted to make friends in elementary school without actually speaking to anyone. When a kid at school admired my drawings of birds, I gave it to him. That’s when I started relying on my art to connect with people. I didn’t have to speak, just draw and paint. Years passed and I began taking courses in art emphasizing painting and printmaking. in 2007, there was a wall in the house that was going to be torn down, and It was the first time my parents allowed me to paint a piece in our living room. The girl figure was already present in the mural and I told my parents I wanted to be a muralist, at least for a painting or two for the public. Eventually I began painting murals when I had my first art studio at 24 in Barrio Logan and have continued to work in the community ever since. Once I became aware that I can translate my work into murals, I knew that Art was going to be the biggest part of my life. I am currently working with M.W. Steele group in Barrio Logan to provide two murals in their renovation of the 625 Broadway Building.

Please tell us about your art.
I am a painter, printmaker, and muralist. One of the biggest reasons why I make art is that it is a way to be present without the need to talk or entertain. It’s me on a page. In many ways it’s the truest version of myself that I can expose because my work is from my head by painting spontaneously. Hardly any planning goes into the piece except for “How big do I want this to be?” The reason for these unplanned pieces, whether it be in the style of the girls I draw or the abstractions I paint, is to emphasize the human condition having different mental states and to further acknowledge the importance of mental health at every age.

Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
Obsess over this need to learn everything you can and apply that to your medium of choice. You are going to be in love with your art, question it, hate it, then realize it’s the most freeing feeling to make things out of nothing, and you fall back in love with it. Also, if your art isn’t paying the bills or it’s not your intention, be in an industry that supports your creativity, from making food to being an assistant to an artist, to being a visual display person at a retail store and what not. These short moments of work can support the materials you need to make art daily without draining your creative juices. Maybe a lesson I wish I knew early on was that my art is me, left behind when I pass away. I probably would have had more paintings that showed my life when I was in my teens.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My current public murals are located inside Snoice, Pop Pie Co, Cafe Virtuoso, La Vecindad, Sushi on A Roll, the offices of Salud, and Skillet Regrade Diner. Works are also located in Tierresanta, Coronado, Miramar and throughout San Diego. I currently have prints, pins, shirts, and paintings displayed in the LB studios in Barrio Logan. By coming into the shops to enjoy their product is a way to support me as an artist as well. All of the paintings are housed in eateries and cafes.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Julie Rings

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

 

1 Comment

  1. Roxana

    July 4, 2018 at 5:01 am

    I have been a fan of Mary Jhun for maybe 4 years now. I was living in San Diego at the time and her work just kept popping up on my feed. I’ve been an admirer of hers ever since!
    Her work is simply brilliant. Just brilliant! She is constantly creating and so hard working. We are so lucky to witness such a talent.
    Thanks SDVoyager for shining much love to this beautiful artist.
    You’re friend from Oakland!
    Roxana Lopez

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