About Eun Young

Heo, Eun-young (1962~) was born and currently resides in Seoul, S. Korea. Heo received her BFA from Painting Dept. of Hong-Ik University, Seoul in 1985 and her MFA from Graduate School of Painting, Hong-Ik University in 2008. During her college years, Heo explored nature such as cocoons and human beings in her paintings. After finishing a semester of her graduate school program she left for the United States and continued her study in art at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and State University in New York (SUNY) at Stonybrook. At MTSU and SUNY Stonybrook, Heo explored ‘liveliness’ through figures of seeds in her paintings and lithographs.

After coming back to Korea, she opened a studio for kids and carried on with her work. Since her first solo exhibition in 2001, Heo has been actively showing her works internationally. Heo’s work went through a transition as she decides to pursue her studies in-depth by returning to the graduate school program, and many more with her ceaseless attention and experimentation on materials.

Contemporary, yet deeply Asian which reminds of Korean traditional dress Hanbok, Heo’s usage of delicate traditional Korean paper in paintings has intrigued her audience from various areas throughout the world. Elaborate wrinkles and knots, and fine stitches on canvas – the special way of her own that picks up the subtleness of Asian culture has been truly inviting people to the moments of contemplation and healing which are well merged in her paintings.

Seed and its liveliness has been Heo’s theme of her paintings since she was very young. Heo says, “Nature has been the major source for artistic inspirations of human. Growing up, I was always fascinated by the mystique and wonder of nature. The basic motif of my artwork comes from this ecological interest – the beauty of the endlessly changing and growing nature. In particular, the vital spirit circulating from the core of plants. Over the years, I have worked on expanding the image of the core in a simple, trifling seed and bringing its imagery to life.”

Since 2005, Heo began using boxes for her works which remind of her earlier paintings from seeds. Like the theme of her invited solo exhibitions in 2009 – Fill again – at Sejong Gallery in Seoul, her boxes are “very gentle, sweet and receptive, which is able and willing to accept all things”, as a critic Seo, Sungrok describes. As Heo elevates the biological concept of seeds into her own motif, box, Heo’s paintings talk about deeper and sincere issues of lives of mankind. Heo’s boxes are open to talk about one’s feelings such as love, delight, wishes, dreams, despair, death, pain, and hurt, she says.

Keeping her concept of the space to empty and to fill again consistent, Heo’s recent works present the emotions and thoughts that being told and listened from the inner space contained in the figures of cups and bottles.