EUCAnet ‘s home page image features Karen Yen’s painting “Island Hopping”

Our main image on the EUCAnet homepage is a digital copy of the painting “Island Hopping” (acrylic on canvas) by the designer Karen Yen. Since almost five years Karen has collaborated closely with the EUCAnet team at the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria. The digital copy of the painting was slightly changed in collaboration with Beate Schmidtke; adding words that refer to issues related to EUCAnet’s current projects on democracy, memory, and populism.

“Using the language of maps, I take on the role of cartographer by tracing emotions, sensations, perceptions and the uncharted realms of my imagination associated with being a person of an ever changing diaspora. Using acrylic paints, paper collage and charcoal on canvas and paper, I rearticulate the practice of mapping by drawing from the landscapes of my memory and imagination. This allows me to temporarily orient myself in this vast world while venturing beyond the boundaries of geography to examine the contradictions between the nature of our imagination and physical boundaries.” Karen Yen;

Karen is a Visual Artist whose journey began in the field of graphic design. With 20 years of experience that started in San Francisco, continuing on in New York, Barcelona, and Victoria, she has learnt to combine meaning/purpose with aesthetics by translating abstract ideas and concepts into visual forms. While visual forms in graphic design are primarily digital, recent years have found her exploring the creation of images through the craft of painting and drawing. By combining this direct, slow and laborious manner of execution with ideas, she creates a visual language that is personal, purposeful and soulful at the same time. Touching on topics such as the refugee condition, the feminine, spirituality, personal geographies and reimagining the arts and crafts movement, she navigates in a world of pictorial interpretation of thoughts, emotions and events that is expansive and lyrical. EUCAnet is very grateful for including parts of Karen’s art in our new website.

The image on the home page is part of the series  “Mapping Movement. Movement Atlas” and is called “Island Hopping” – Acrylic on canvas.


Other examples of Karen’s art is : Between Land and Sea – Acrylic on paper

In 2020 Karen explored a new theme: Nowhere I / II/ III – Acrylic on wooden panels