Joyce Yuruo Hong – Orange County Registry


In her works, Joyce Yuruo Hong aims to combat cultural appropriation through cultural appreciation.

Seven years ago, her family moved here from Hangzhou, China, a city south of Shanghai. She is a first-generation immigrant, very aware of her family history and geographic migrations in her home country and abroad.

Family heritage, she writes, “is something that runs in our blood, it can be memories that we carry throughout our lives, it can be a ballad that has been sung from generation to generation.”

It may also be the space-time map she created using wire, paper, and PVC board to illustrate her family’s many ties that stretch from China to the United States. United. The work was one of five mixed-media pieces that earned Hong recognition as Artist of the Year for Handcrafted Visual Arts.

She used this map as the basis for vertical abstract sculptures which she then used as the basis for geometric floor plans that evolved into the architectural design of a community that reflected the needs of her own family.

“She found a way to trace her family history and create art, while becoming a visionary for better home design,” observed Paige Oden, director of visual arts at Orange County School of the Arts, which nominated OCSA Senior for Artist of the Year.

While heritage is central to Hong’s creativity, more recent events — the anti-Asian hatred that has erupted during the coronavirus pandemic here and in other parts of her adopted country — have underscored for her a role it could play in the Stop Asian Hate movement.

“As a Chinese-American artist, my initiative is to convey a sense of cultural appreciation through my art.”

Her parents, now divorced, moved here to give their two daughters a better education. His family faced financial challenges, including living in cramped quarters, which sparked his interest in designing living spaces that could better accommodate families of modest means.

The move also allowed Hong to express himself more freely.

Hong, 18, deploys her talent in mixed media, drawing and painting, metalwork, sculpture and stage design which includes stage sets for plays performed at her school.

Her grandfather, whom she describes as a “traditional Chinese artist”, directed her towards the field of art from her childhood. As a child, she drew and painted. Subsequent exposure to working with ceramics broadened her sense of the possibilities offered by 3D art and mixed media.

More recently, she has been influenced by the minimalist work of award-winning Chinese scenographer Liu Xinglin.

The Artist of the Year judges saw a future for him in scenography and/or urban design.

The sophistication behind Hong’s work prompted this remark from Angela Brown, art teacher at Aliso Niguel High: “There’s a very high level of thoughtfulness there.”

Artisan Visual Arts Finalists

Artisan visual arts are divided into three specialties: ceramics, hand drawing and painting, and mixed media. In addition to Artist of the Year, judges selected finalists in each category.

Meg Hiroko Sauzedde of Rancho Santa Margarita, a senior student at Trabuco Hills High School, is the Artisan Visual Arts finalist in the ceramics specialty for Artist of the Year in 2022. (Photo courtesy by Madison Billington)

Ceramic: Meg Hiroko Sauzedde, 17, senior at Trabuco Hills High. She said she was hesitant to be placed in a ceramics class four years ago. But once she started working with clay, it was an instant love. “It’s just fine in my hands,” she said. She needed something to feel good about, coming from an abusive home. Sauzedde now lives with an adoptive parent. She plans to major in biochemistry at Cal State Fullerton, then use the manual skills she honed in ceramics as a perfusionist, the member of the surgical team who operates a heart-lung machine.

Grace Jo d’Irvine, a senior student at Orange County School of the Arts, is the finalist in visual arts craft in the specialty of hand drawing and painting for artist of the year in 2022. ( Photo courtesy of Myung Kim)

Hand drawing and painting: Grace Jo, 17, senior at Orange County School of the Arts. She knows exactly where she’s headed – to school at the Art Institute of Chicago. She took a serious interest in art during her junior year of high school. Jo knows she is being offered opportunities denied to her mother, who she says “was questioned by her peers and her own mother about her passion for art”. No such doubt holds Jo back. “Art is just my life, honestly,” she said. “I want to pursue him forever.”

Hannah Kang of La Habra, a senior student at the Orange County School of the Arts, is the visual arts craft finalist in the mixed media specialty for Artist of the Year in 2022. (Photo courtesy by Hannah Kang)

Technique Mixte : Hannah Kang, 18, a senior at the Orange County School of the Arts. She wants to incorporate film, fine art, and computing into whatever she ends up doing in the future. His first choice for college is the Rhode Island School of Design. A desire for more independence led her to dream of one day backpacking around the world. This is how she identifies her greatest skill: “The ability to identify a need and produce a creative solution that meets that need.”


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