Sara Yukiko Mon

February 16, 2022

Sara Yukiko Mon (b. 1996, San Francisco, California) is a multidisciplinary artist and designer living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in Design | Media Arts in 2018. In her work she often plays with themes of humor and absurdity in the mundane as well as her love of all things nostalgic.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I’m a multidisciplinary artist and designer living and working in Brooklyn, New York. I play with many mediums including collage, drawing, photo and video. I like collecting things.

What prompted you to move to New York after graduating from UCLA?

My parents met when they were roommates in New York and would always speak fondly of their time here so since I was a child I always imagined that New York was a beautiful place where I would someday end up. After graduating college and having been in California all my life, it seemed like the next logical step to pursue my career in the arts.

“Heart of Glass”, 2022.

The organization and sorting of images and information appear to be a central focus in much of your work. How would you describe your approach to the composition of the visual elements in your work?

It definitely is! For all my projects I usually start with an ongoing image pool that I pull from. I’ll start with 2 or 3 images that relate best to the piece in theme and then arrange other images by color and composition. I’m all about creating new meaning from these pairings and placement of the images.

Can you talk about the ways your work is informed by digital media and utilizes the internet?

My work is definitely very much reliant on found images and objects from the web. I’m very drawn to photos from user uploaded listings — images meant to showcase a product that are usually not themselves meant to be interesting or beautiful — and then re-contextualizing these images to tell a story. I like thinking about my work as an archive or visualization of my search history or as a log of what’s out there and available for purchase in that moment in time.

My process looks something like this: Searches > Keywords > Image > Collage.

“Powder Room”, 2022.

How did you begin working in commercial design and collaborating with larger brands?

I studied graphic design in school so I’ve hopped around doing commercial design at different design studios. As for collaborations, I suppose more brands started hitting me up the more collaborations I did and the more work I was putting out there.

Could you talk about the work and curation of your recent duo exhibition with Chris Lloyd at Gern en Regalia?

Each piece in the show has a prompt relating to a moment in our relationship. It was our way of dissecting our perspectives of different moments using animal processes to understand these hardwired / innate / instinctual feelings. Most pieces were collaborative and we worked in a very exquisite corpse-like manor. One of us would usually start a piece out and the other would finish it off — it was all about taking a risk and trusting the other person with our work and adding flares of each of our personalities onto each other’s pieces.

“Falling with Love”, 2020 from “Two Birds, One Stone” at Gern en Regalia.

Can you talk about your interest in exploring themes of absurdity, humor, and playfulness in your work?

I guess I like calling attention to mundane moments in life that you might usually overlook — Moments that most people may not necessarily notice but could relate to when highlighted. I think that’s why a lot of my work has a sort of absurdist feel. I like making art that is exciting, hopeful, or nostalgic with various elements of discovery and exploration.

“Bittersweet Symphony”, 2021.

Would you say that fashion is a prevalent inspiration to you?

I spend a good amount of my time studying, buying, and selling fashion and it absolutely informs my art practice. It’s an interesting exercise of seeing what images catch my eye for my ongoing pool of source images, while simultaneously accumulating pieces for my irl collection. I like thinking of my clothing as timestamps — both in a larger historical scale and a personal scale — thinking about my interests and experiences associated to the piece. I love surrounding myself with pieces of fashion that I’m excited about and constantly gathering and editing my collection. It’s fun extending my taste to the way I present myself in my everyday.

“Cut, Fold”, 2021.

Favorite studio snack?

My usual bodega order is Jalapeño Cheetos or Takis with a Lemon Lime Schweppes. Garlic Chex Mix are also good — specifically the Gardetto’s rye chips. Also been recently getting the Mint Kit Kats. I clearly take my snacks very seriously.

“Witch’s Spell”, 2021.

Any upcoming projects?

I’ve been working on a new body of work for the past year that I’ve been waiting to release as a solo show. Just trying to figure out now where it will live ~ Since quarantine we’ve been spending a lot of time at home so we each have these new loaded attachments and associations with our living spaces. I’ve been envisioning my room as an oasis— a world I’ve created — and the rearranging of pieces in the room to create new energy. It’s been nice working on the project at my studio at my own pace and building on it little by little. I’m very excited about how it’s coming together and can’t wait to put it out in the world soon !

Chris and I also have a duo show coming up at Domicile in Tokyo which will happen hopefully once the borders there open!


Interview conducted and edited by Sam Dybeck.