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Artist of the Week: Lauren Koo

Views 34 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 1 - 30 - 2019 | By: Phebe Chang

While walking alongside the beach, the beaches are littered with trash and bottles and plastic. It dirties the water and the planet, but what is the solution for this generation? Recycling? Reusing? Reducing? All of these methods are great for the planet and will help the earth, but Lauren Koo, a senior art student, finds beauty in these items that make the planet more “ugly.”
“I don’t love using the word ‘trash,’ but for me, it started at a young age.” Koo has been collecting for most of her life, adorning her life with glass bottles, flowers, stamps, letters, tea bags, coins—the list goes on. “It just became this weird thing for me. I just loved collecting and having all of these things.” She started her art style by collaging and assembling things together without restraint. Going wherever her creativity took her, Koo started to focus more on making her collected items into something artistic, “so that they have some sort of purpose.”
“For me, art is something that allows me express myself in ways words can’t,”Koo states, “I love how if you can imagine it, you can go out and make it into a piece.” This is very clear in her work. She takes pieces of unused bottles to make them into something more beautiful than a simple piece of plastic. Through this medium, she can show herself to the rest of the world and what the planet means to her. Interestingly enough, however, Koo can struggle with the imperfections of this medium. “I’m a perfectionist at times, and that’s hard because I want to make a piece perfect.” But even so, she found joy in her art, and loves to “create for the sake of creating.” Each piece is important and special to her, as she has started to focus on the little details. Growing in her artistic talent, she has become more detail-oriented, although that was not how she initially was. “Art has also made me want to grow and get better. Sometimes you get artist’s block, or you just hate what you’re doing, but over the years I’ve learned that it is okay to just make mistakes, get critiques, and then grow from them.”
Koo has been spending her final moments at Westmont accumulating items from her surroundings, such as her house, room, or something with “some sort of past.” Rather than leaving those items to go in the trash, she has been working them into her senior project with the core message of showing the students that “the item isn’t just a piece of trash anymore, it has value and is now art.”
As her time comes to a close, she wants the Westmont student body to know that there is beauty in everything. “I want to say that there is potential in everything. Yeah, it may seem like one glass bottle, but after having several glass bottles, you can make something beautiful.”


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