Cho Hyun Soo

South Korea 1994, painter

01.01.2018   - 31.01.2018

The preferred technique of visual artist Cho Hyun Soo is painting, informed by its rich Korean tradition, and combined with contemporary experimental elements, such as collage.

Born South Korea 1994, she studied at Changwon Art University (2013 to 2017), and began her studies at Changwon Graduate Art School in 2017.

Cho joins SomoS January 2018 as part of a new Korean residency exchange cooperation between Keum Art Projects (Berlin), the Changwon University in South Korea, and SomoS Art House, Berlin.

Of her art project during her time in Berlin, Soo explains:

The period I enter the studio is around January to February, and it is generally in the middle of winter in Germany. So taking bamboo, which represents Winter in of the traditional Four Gracious Plants genre as the main theme, I intend to show a strong bamboo forest in the cold, German city of Berlin.

My aim is to introduce the true formative beauty of Korean arts, through the work inspired by the traditional Four Gracious Plants and modern techniques.

One of the most familiar themes of traditional Korean painting, the Four Gracious Plants, describe the good qualities symbolized by four plants – plum blossoms, orchids or wild orchids, chrysanthemums, and bamboo – as the noble characters of a person of virtue, goodness, and great erudition.

In my painting, I focus on bamboo, which is known as the plant that resembles the dignity of virtuous man. Its green color shows the fresh spirit, its straight shape shows the iron-willed, upright attitude, its hollow stem shows a greedless, unworldly mind, and its bendable-but-not-breakable straightness shows strong fidelity and tenacious will.

I attempt to infuse the traditional meanings of the Four Gracious Plants, such as loftiness, constancy, and fidelity, into my works, through various experimental techniques, adding collage elements, using thin metal foil. As time goes by, the collaged foils begin to peel, discolor, and corrode naturally, and these natural changes on the collaged work over time show unartificial, natural beauty in the screen.

Cho Hyun Soo, Artist’s Statement