Kyu Hwang is a fantastic creative who just recently participated in a solo show with a total of 42 pieces in the show! Seeing his awesome work and even better work ethic, I figured he would be the perfect candidate in the Creative Spotlight. Please read below for the full Q&A…
Would you say something about your parents and your childhood?
Kyu: My dad used to work for an import-export company which meant our family got moved around a lot. I first left Korea when I was 4, and have spent over half my life abroad. I guess you could say my childhood mostly consisted of adjusting to new environments.
The last six months for you were pretty intense. Could you tell us a bit about how you prepared for your solo show in Korea? Did you experience any nerves or were you confident in the message you wanted to present?
Kyu: My last solo show was by far the largest exhibit I’ve ever done. I had a total of 42 pieces in the show. It was a challenge even though I had a year to prepare for it. The subject matter wasn’t really a problem as it was an extension of what I have been working on for the past 4 years or so. Translating the images into a new medium however, was a bit tricky for me – I had been using mostly graphite for my works the past few years, but decided to go back to oil painting for this show.
How did this show differ from your group show in Paris? Does a different cultural audience really make a difference in how your art is perceived?
Kyu: The way people react/connect to my work seems to be different depending on where I show. It may have more to do with how comfortable people are at interacting with art though.. I think these days cultural barriers are less of an issue; the world has gotten a lot smaller after all. The funny thing I find is that when I show work in Canada or Europe people comment on how Asian my work is; when I show in Korea I get the opposite reaction.
I’ve been thinking about this for the last few years and I find that some artists’ work tends to get high-key and maybe too bold. You tend to use a monochromatic palette. Is this to show restraint in your work?
Kyu: I don’t think I’m consciously trying to show restraint. Maybe that’s just the way I process things. I like quiet, subtle expressions with layers. You don’t have to shout every time you have something important to say.
You stay pretty active in blogging and using social media to connect with people. How important is this as an artist for you to document your works, findings, and thoughts online?
Kyu: I don’t know if I would say it is important to me, but I do enjoy it. Having a website to showcase my works is nice, but blogging and using social media turns it into a conversation. I like that I can get instant reactions or feedback.
Your work can be described as isolated, somber, and dream like. How do you react to such words? And are these reflections of your own personality?
Kyu: I guess they do reflect a part of my personality. I do enjoy a good amount of solitude and quite, but that is not to say that I am in any way anti-social.
Do you have any favorite Asian films?
After shifting from Canada to Korea after almost a decade, how will this change effect future works from you as a creative?
Kyu: I think I have yet to find out, but I have already been experimenting with new materials and techniques since moving back to Korea. I’m sure the difference in cultural environment has a lot to do with it, but at the same time Seoul is a much larger city than Vancouver, and I have access to a lot more materials and inspirations.
Aside from your art, if that was even a factor, what brought upon the move to Korea?
Kyu: It was a combination of a lot of different factors. I had been away from my family a long time, and I came across some good opportunities to show work here in Seoul. Also I’ve always wanted to travel around Asia; being back home makes this a lot easier.
I know you like to challenge yourself as an artist by experimenting with new mediums. What future projects would you like to explore in 2013?
Kyu: I think I’d like to broaden my medium a little. I’m collaborating with some friends on an animation project, and doing some research for sculpture pieces as well as installations.
Want to stay up to date on all his work? Visit his official site below: