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    Taras Yoom

    Taras Yoom

    1. Where were you born and where are you from ?

    I was born in the Siberian city of Tomsk in 1991. In my mature years, at the age of 28, I moved to Moscow, and from there, exactly at the age of 30, I relocated to Thailand, Bangkok.

    2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?

    It’s the illustrations in an encyclopedia about the Spanish religion of past centuries. Additionally, icons in Orthodox churches, of which there were many in my hometown, where I also observed a great deal of architecture — wooden houses with carved decorations. If we specifically consider the world of art, these were works by Leonardo da Vinci, as well as artworks by Michelangelo and Hieronymus Bosch. Of course, Leonardo da Vinci was the very first because his works are studied in medical history, showing the initial sketches of works and recounting biographical facts. The first sketches of this artist that I saw, besides the Vitruvian Man, were cross-sections of a fetus in the mother’s womb, technical drawings of a flying apparatus, anatomy of a bird’s wing, and others.

    3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?

    I can say that I have consciously been involved in this since I was 24-25 years old. Before that time, I worked part-time in laboratories, and institutes, and managed the technical workshop of the university and the youth creativity center. That’s when I learned to work with various types of equipment, such as CNC machines, laser cutters, 3D printers, 3D scanners, and so on.

    4. What led you to the design creation ?

    It is the realization that there is no need for me to practice medicine in order to have some impact on human lives and improve them. When you’re a doctor, you can save people, by directly interacting with them. As an artist, I can create furniture, for example, a chair that will support the spine in the correct position. And if this is a large edition work, imagine how many people can be saved from the consequences of osteochondrosis, and incorrect posture, which already lead to more serious consequences and disruptions in the functioning of internal organs. 

    Now, I also believe that design and art save lives because they are all functional things. And indeed, delving deeper into neurobiology, neurophysiology, and biochemistry, you understand that a person is an innervated creature, whose psycho-emotional state is directly related to the physical. As they say, a healthy mind in a healthy body. And art works with the spirit of a person. By initiating a deeper process that can lead to good well-being, improved quality of life, recovery, inspiration, love, and already to life itself. Art can bring to life. 

    5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?

    My creative process looks like cultivating an idea based on a person’s life, including my own life, because everyone sees life through themselves, their own eyes, memories of childhood, and genetics. My creative process is a reflection on such questions. It’s easiest to describe using an example when a person experiences some emotion. Suppose one of the most common emotions is fear. 

    Fear is a certain state that can be fundamental or episodic. Based on fear, you can already think and be interested in images: what is fear, how does it affect a person, when did it arise, what can fear create, and what can it destroy in a person’s life, and also what is fear for? Is fear a natural element of movement or, on the contrary, of stopping? Fear can be tied to some basic things, like the fear of death, or it can be tied to states, like shame. Reflecting on these things, you can immediately come up with images, places that evoked similar feelings in you. And finally, you can invent objects that don’t scare you, but can explain your state — the state of fear. The most difficult thing is to find the golden mean, where the image will be understandable to everyone or the majority, and they will be able to relate to it.

    6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?

    I wake up around 11-12 in the morning. Literally, within 15-20 minutes, I head to my four-story workshop in Bangkok, where I usually spend my day. The assistants in my workshop handle their part of the work, which is divided by floors. On one floor, the products are painted, on another, they are processed, on the third, they are assembled. I also paint pictures there, refine furniture items, and decorative objects. Throughout the day, I check the work done on the objects, pay attention to technologically complex and experimental tasks, address production issues, engage in color selection for artworks, and periodically sketch, and paint. Every day, I think about what might be relevant for my project and its global growth because the Yoomoota art world is a whole universe. There are small breaks in the daily schedule, but overall, I’m in the workshop until 3-4 in the morning, after which I head home, and honestly, until 6 in the morning, I continue to sketch.

    7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?

    I don’t adhere to specific materials because I’m not guided by the material but by form and idea. I like plastic because it’s malleable and allows me to create the required shape, imparting the necessary color. Because color in our lives is a very important element through which emotions and states can be conveyed. The same goes for form, which can be compared to body language. If we talk about figures, sculptures, pieces of furniture — all of these are bodies too, capable of speaking the language of the body. Therefore, form and color are the main things I start with when choosing materials. 

    8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?

    The technical peculiarity lies in the fact that I need to mimic some materials inherent in nature. By natural, I mean human. I often use images of cells, shells, and some organic objects. They and the very structure of life inspire me — these are ingenious processes. That is, entropy was brought in such a way that the object, seemingly chaotic at first glance, is actually functional 100%. And every twist, every bump, every indentation, it matters. So, perhaps, the main technical features are experimenting with various materials. For example, using wet felting to create furniture so that there is no seam and there is an imitation of an immune cell of the body. I also like smooth shapes, which are difficult to achieve, especially from solid materials like wood, metal, or stone. Therefore, seemingly natural materials, such understandable and simple ones, but making them human by hand is quite difficult.

    9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?

    The advice is always the same — broaden your horizons. This applies not only to artistic interests but also to natural, humanitarian, and mathematical ones. Study physics, observe nature, try to understand how it works, why and how it was created. These are questions that you always need to try to find answers to. It is in such quests that you can create something amazing. In those moments, you combine options for answers and knowledge from different areas. And, as history has shown, it is precisely this combination that leads to the emergence of something new, such as the internet, radio, antibiotics, electromagnetism, electricity, and gravity. All of this was described by people only after combining knowledge and phenomena from the most diverse areas.

    10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?

    Most likely surrealism, modernism, elements of futurism, and biodesign because I like smooth, rounded shapes characteristic of living organisms. But somehow, when we talk about “biodesign,” it is perceived differently, as images of a physical nature. In my case, it’s not quite like that. For me, it’s bio-surrealist design.

    11. What designers and artists have influenced you ?

    I have definitely been influenced by Joe Ponti, Thomas Chippendale. When I studied the history of design, I was interested not so much in their works as in their initiatives, what motivated and inspired them. Undoubtedly, Gaudi and Colombo. From more contemporary designers, I also like Philippe Starck — he was very prolific, creating amazing works.

    12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?

    Nowadays, there are many names of good designers, and I can only mention certain design directions and countries. For example, I like elements of Japanese design, the depth with which the Japanese work. Also interesting is the technical Korean design and, of course, furniture Italian and English design — they are giants in their field.

    13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?

    Leonardo da Vinci, Hieronymus Bosch, Rothko, Rodin, Klimt, Dali as a pioneer of surrealism. If we talk about modern ones — Takashi Murakami and how interestingly he conveys complex themes with illustrative and warm images. Damien Hirst — for his sensationalism and experiments. I generally like artists who engage in experimental work. And from contemporary painters, I can highlight Guillermo, he has a magnificent technique and execution.

    14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?

    Hidden art

    15. Is there anything you’d like to add?

    Human life consists of many details that distinguish us from each other (eye color, height, and the like), but these are details relative to all humanity. Similarly, in the design of objects, details are very important. However, the details should not only be visual but also ideological. The concept of quality should be perceived as the quality of the idea and the quality of execution, these are two parallel components that go together. Therefore, if you are engaged in design and art, then, of course, it is best to try to start with an idea, and then delve into the embodiment of this idea. You outline it, sketch it out, literally carve it out of stone, so you need to start designing with a thought. 

    Proust Questionnaire with very short answers (one or a few words) :
    (The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by the French writer Marcel Proust. Other historical figures who have answered confession albums are Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Cézanne…)

    1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

    Being capable of love.

    2. What is your greatest fear?

    Unconsciousness and stupidity.

    3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

    My height of 1.94 meters.

    4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

    Laziness and foolishness.

    5. Which living person do you most admire?

    My wife, Christina, and my mother.

    6. What is your greatest extravagance?


    7. What is your current state of mind?

    I am on the rise, feeling grounded.

    8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

    Assistance in the form of ready-made solutions. It’s better to give guidance and help learn independently.

    9. What is the quality you most like in a man ?

    Passion, the ability to delve into a problem and defend what is dear.

    10. What is the quality you most like in a woman ?

    Calmness and lightness.

    11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

    Yoomoota — it’s about us, people, humanity, self-awareness.

    12. Which talent would you most like to have?

    To be able to sing.

    13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

    Change my height to 1.8 meters.

    14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

    Bringing people together and describing states through objects.

    15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

    I wouldn’t want to be anything else, only myself.

    16. Where would you most like to live?

    It depends. Currently — in megacities, in the future — Netherlands, Kyoto, northern islands.

    17. What is your most treasured possession?

    Mind, education, good genetics, initiative, and openness to experiments. 

    18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

    Laughter within the circle of friends.

    19. What is your favorite occupation?

    To deeply explore.

    20. What is your most marked characteristic?


    21. What do you most value in your friends?

    Enthusiasm for their activities and hobbies.

    22. Who are your favorite writers?

    Mark Twain, Agatha Christie, Stephen King, Goethe, Bloom, and of course, the one who created the Bible.

    23. Who is your hero of fiction?

    I can’t single out one character.

    24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

    Leonardo da Vinci.

    25. Who are your heroes in real life?

    My mother, wife, friends, and partners.

    26. What are your favorite names?

    Taras, Tikhon, Yegor, Christina, Maria, Anna, Eve, Eva, Mark, Adam, Ben, Elizabeth.

    27. What is it that you most dislike?

    Frankly, I don’t like my height.

    28. What is your greatest regret?

    About nothing.

    29. How would you like to die?

    In sleep.

    30. What is your motto?

    “Imperare sibi maximum imperium est” (“To rule yourself is the ultimate power.”) 

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