Interview: Urim Hong
Luca Curci talks with Urim during ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021 at Medina Gallery, and during VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021 at Misericordia Archives.
Urim Hong is a photographer who searches for light in the isolated world. After majoring in the humanities as well as pedagogy, he taught children for a decade and, in that process, found himself called to photography. He majored in photography at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Currently, he is leading a project for the children and orphans in Citi Soleil, a small village within the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area in Haiti. He was selected as Editorial Photographer of the year at the 2018 International Photography Awards(IPA) and 2019 Moscow International Foto Awards(MIFA). Recently, 2020 International Photography Awards(IPA) Editorial winner Jury Top 5 Selection.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Urim Hong – I create and send out messages by utilizing a media tool: photography. To me art is message. There are a countless number of stories within this world. These stories contain messages that edify our lives. I do art by existing as a storyteller who connects those messages with the world.
LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
UH – It began with 10 years of studies within the humanities foundation. That is, thinking about human beings and the life we carry, specializing in the domains of theology, philosophy, and pedagogy. After a decade of learning, I was able to combobulate the technical skills of expression by majoring in photography at Art Center College of Design. All of my works are a combination of these two: understanding based on humanities and technical skills within the media.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
UH – My interest is in the marginalized portion of the world. The thematic issues that emerge within a marginalized country and society are the subject of interest that occupies the space on my worktable. Among those, stories with sincerity are marked as relevant. Themes that ignite hope, courage, and love have a pull on my artistic mind.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
UH – The process begins with reasoned research among the various stories. “Is there a message that I can convey?” is the question at the get-go, and then comes the instinctive process of getting the visual elements into my camera.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
UH – My display is the series of works titled “A Melody of Hope” which was a winner (docu) at the International Photography Awards. This project was about a story within City Soleil, a small village in Haiti-a story about a group of children who continue to play a melody of hope at Love & Hope Music School even in the midst of terror, confusion, and the shootings of the gangs. My works contain these children in harmony with light, expressing the hope of tomorrow that they face.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
UH – I think very highly of ITSLIQUID since one can communicate actively in the areas of art, architecture, design, fashion, etc. under one single platform. I especially like how it approaches today’s lifestyles artistically with the support of various artists.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
UH – I was deeply touched by the foresight of this event: how it selected and organized the works of artists all around the world without limiting the breadth of art-from modern art to documentary. I definitely look forward to the upcoming exhibition.