Young Guns 19: Sean Wang

By Alixandra Rutnik and Brett McKenzie on Oct 27, 2021

Featuring the creative stars of Young Guns 19


A year and a half of uncertainty across the creative industry and beyond has finally given way to a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel — a spotlight with a great big "YG19" standing in the middle of it. After more than 70 acclaimed creatives from around the world and across a multitude of disciplines reviewed hundreds of submissions, whittling them down to a formidable finalist list, we can finally reveal the phenomenal winners of Young Guns 19!

This year, we welcome a diverse class of 32 inductees into the exclusive Young Guns family, a collection of young creative talent that is already near the top of their game — and will only get better. These are the designers, the art directors, the illustrators, the filmmakers, the animators, the multidisciplinary artists whose names you'll want to know — if you aren't already following their every move, that is.

Ahead of the Young Guns 19 Ceremony + Party taking place on Wednesday, November 17 — our first in-person event since the pandemic began — we are featuring the future legends who will be stepping into the spotlight that evening.


SEAN WANG
FILMMAKER

Based:

Los Angeles, California

Hometown:

Fremont, California

SEE SEAN'S ENTRY

When did you first hear about Young Guns?

I first heard about the award in college, but I started paying more attention to it after I moved to New York City and met creatives across all different disciplines. The list of past winners is full of artists whose work I love, and I’ve had friends and co-workers I look up to win in recent years, so it’s an honor to be a part of the community.

Congrats on the first-time win! What made you enter this year?

My friend encouraged me to submit to COLORFUL this year, which I was fortunate enough to win (thank you again, Rich, Tre and the jury!), and entering Young Guns was the natural next step.

I considered entering last year, but I was working on a couple personal projects at the time– I decided to wait until they were finished so I could put my best foot forward with a more confident and cohesive body of work. I’m glad I waited and had a chance to be part of COLORFUL this year too. I love what the program stands for and it was really meaningful to be selected as the winner by a jury of artists I respect and admire.

"I’m glad I waited and had a chance to be part of COLORFUL this year too. I love what the program stands for and it was really meaningful to be selected as the winner by a jury of artists I respect and admire."

Since you are only allowed to submit six projects, how did you decide which pieces were best to enter and truly reflected you and your work?

The personal projects I’ve made all mean a lot to me for different reasons– they are very pure forms of self expression. I submitted my personal project favorites, and a couple of client projects I am proud of too.

How did you celebrate when you found out you won Young Guns?

I had a work deadline when I discovered I won, so I couldn’t fully process the news and celebrate in the moment, but it definitely made my week. I do remember eating a peach chobani though.

If you had to pick one of the six projects that you entered as your favorite, which one would it be and why?

My favorite piece I entered is a personal short film 3,000 Miles. The film itself is sort of a time capsule for a very important and formative year in my life, both personally and professionally. It came together organically and it holds a very special place in my heart.

If you had to describe your creative style, the part of your work that’s most distinctively “you,” what would it be?

I’m not sure I know the answer to this, and I’m not sure that I want to. I believe that style should support story and emotion, and what that is can vary from project to project. Though, it has been fun to see what is consistent without a forced hand.

So far, the work that I’m most proud of has all directly stemmed from something personal in my life, so I think there’s naturally a lot of “me” in there. But the hope moving forward is to always try and find ways to burrow myself into the work and make it feel just as personal, regardless of the genre, subject, or medium. That to me is the gold standard.

Who are some of the biggest influences on your work and career– people who may have had a hand in mentoring and supporting you?

Spike Jonze is the reason I’m a filmmaker. Discovering Hiro Murai and DANIELS in my late-teens and seeing Asian American directors making work that resonated with me for the first time was really important to me. The team at Google Creative Lab. All of my friends I get to make stuff with who always push me to think and feel deeper.

So many people have helped, supported, and/or mentored me along the way: Carlos López Estrada, Aneesh Chaganty, Mohammad Gorjestani, Lisa Steiman, Kellan Davidson, Hannah Pearl Utt, and Sam Davis. And of course, my parents, sister and grandmas.

Now that you’re in the Young Guns family, are there any past winners you look up to and admire?

There are so many, but DANIELS, Jonas Lindstroem, Calmatic, Santiago Carrasquilla, Saad Moosajee, Fenn O'Meally, Savanah Leaf, and Joyce Ho all immediately come to mind. I’m looking forward to digging through the archive of past winners. I'm sure I'll find some artists I look up to that I didn't even know were Young Guns winners (like Mike Mills!)

The pandemic of 2020 is slowly starting to taper a bit, so do you have any big goals moving forward into 2022?

Professionally, I want to continue making things I’m excited about with people I love. I’d be happy doing that for the rest of my life. Personally, I’m trying to convince my parents to raise a puppy.

Name a creative dream that you have yet to fulfill — hey, maybe Young Guns can help propel you in that direction!

I’ve spent the last couple of years chipping away at a feature script and I feel so close and excited to jump into the next step of actually getting it made. Besides that, I'd love to make more music videos and get a lifetime sponsorship by Trolli (or Haribo. I’m flexible).

Any final thoughts?

Feelings about winning– giddy, honored, and excited to meet the rest of YG19. Best piece of advice– stretch, drink lots of water, and take naps. Life motto– stretch, drink lots of water, and take naps.


 

SEANWANGFILM.COM

IG: @SEANSWANG


Go check out all the Young Guns 19 Winners in the archive!

Young Guns 19 Archive

 

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