Interviews | May 3, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Hyoju Cheon

Interview: Hyoju Cheon
Luca Curci talks with Hyoju Cheon, during VISIONS third appointment of CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2023, and during HYBRID IDENTITIES – BORDERS ART FAIR held in Venice at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.

Hyoju Cheon (b.1994, Seoul) is an explorer and interdisciplinary artist currently residing in New York. Her multimedia practice–often casting a space, an object, or a body in motion–responds to the conditions of a site. Her work documents bodies as they move through space: drawing their trajectories and archiving the material traces  left behind. Hyoju has exhibited her works in Seoul at Dongsomun, Meindo, Gallery Imazoo, and Gaon Gallery; and in New York at the Lenfest Center for the Arts, the Abrons Arts Center, Half Gallery and Chashma among others. 

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Image courtesy of Hyoju Cheon

Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Hyoju Cheon –
The question of what art means to me is a profound question. For me, art is a form of poetry that communicates through visual language, providing a means for people to connect and express themselves. Art has the power to spark conversation and dialogue, often prompting discussions about social and cultural issues. It is this ability to provoke discourse that I believe makes art so important. I aspire for my own art to be a catalyst for conversation and reflection, encouraging viewers to engage with the world around them in new and meaningful ways.

LC – What are you currently working on?
HC –
I have been exploring the concept of meaningful and meaningless movement, and recently my focus has expanded to include the exploration of intuitive movement, particularly inspired by children’s play. As part of this exploration, I have created a sculpture that facilitates instant interaction and engagement. Currently, I am working on a wooden panel that serves as a platform for creating intimate connections between people and the work. However, my ultimate goal is to create an immersive installation that will further enhance the interactive experience.

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Image courtesy of Hyoju Cheon

LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
HC –
I find inspiration in various sources. I draw inspiration from everyday life and the simple gestures we often overlook. The streets, supermarkets, and even my own home can be exciting places for inspiration. Additionally, books play a significant role in inspiring me. Currently, I’m reading “The Everyday” edited by Stephen Johnstone, which explores how artists transform ordinary objects into vehicles for expression, giving them a voice. This book has been particularly influential in shaping my perspective.

LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
HC –
Lately, the most demanding aspect of my artistic process is sourcing the materials. I have become increasingly conscious of the materials I use, unlike in the past where I was less attentive. Previously, I would use foam boards without much consideration. However, now I am deeply concerned about the waste I generate and the afterlife of the materials I utilize. Consequently, I actively seek out materials that can be repurposed or have the potential for a second life.

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Image courtesy of Hyoju Cheon

LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
HC –
Over the years, I wouldn’t say that I have developed a specific artistic style in my practice, but my choice of materials and subjects has certainly evolved. I’m constantly exploring different materials that resonate with me when I begin a new project. The process of selecting materials is an enjoyable aspect of my work. It begins with drawing and creating small prototypes to experiment with various materials. Through this experimentation, I stumble upon new materials that captivate me, and these materials often become a significant part of my artistic journey for an extended period of time.

LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
HC –
I am impressed by how the Itsliquid team provides a shared vision to artists, despite their diverse environments and countries of origin. While each artist maintains their individual identity, it is intriguing to witness how these identities interact with different environments. The concept of Vision allows us to collectively experience this dynamic interplay.

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Image courtesy of Hyoju Cheon

LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
HC –
I would be delighted to discuss the artwork titled “Rounded Play and Pointed Play” currently on display in our exhibition. This particular work delves into the concept of play, exploring not only the activities that captivate children but also the childlike movements that adults may engage in. In my research on childhood play, I came across an enlightening article that discussed the various motivations behind it. Children often participate in play to channel their excess energy, learn actions or gestures relevant to adult life, or even practice specific muscle movements. With this artwork, my intention is to delve deeper into the essence of play and explore the immediate responses that arise when encountering different structures or stimuli. By examining the interplay between childlike and adult movements within the context of play, “Rounded Play and Pointed Play” invites viewers to reflect on their own experiences and connections to the notion of play.

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Image courtesy of Hyoju Cheon

LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
– Absolutely, ITSLIQUID GROUP can be a valuable opportunity for artists. It serves as a platform for artists from around the globe to showcase their work and connect with a diverse audience. Participating in ITSLIQUID GROUP allows me to contribute their unique perspectives and artistic visions to a city that is renowned for its vibrant art scene. This opportunity becomes even more significant considering the recent challenges artists have faced, as it provides a chance to reconnect with the world and share their creativity. The ability to exhibit in such a context can be a meaningful and enriching experience for artists, fostering artistic growth and opening up new possibilities for recognition and collaboration.

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LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
HC –
I highly recommend collaborating with its itsliquid team. Personally, I have had an amazing experience working with them, as my artwork has been able to travel the world and reach diverse audiences. Its itsliquid team provides excellent services and opportunities for artists to showcase their work on a global scale. I believe that collaborating with them would be a beneficial and rewarding experience for any artist or creative individual.

LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
HC –
I find the organization of our event to be quite efficient. I appreciate the smooth communication I have with all team members involved. Even though, I was unable to attend the opening event, I am grateful for the shared images and installation shots, which have allowed me to get a sense of the event’s atmosphere.

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Image courtesy of Hyoju Cheon

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