Meet the artist – Hyun Ah Kwon
Hyun Ah Kwon portrait


Meet the artist: Hyun Ah Kwon

MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, 2018

Hyun Ah Kwon’s art records the memories of transcendent moments of her own life. She focuses on various printing techniques such as etching, screen-print and digital.

Graduating in 2018 from Central Saint Martins, she was nominated for the Aichi University of Arts’ residency programme in Japan and was shortlisted for the Red Mansion art prize. She has also exhibited across London and Seoul.

Hyun Ah Kwon's studio

What was the inspiration behind the piece(s) in not just a shop?

I was inspired by overwhelming experiences from when I lived in California in 2013. I travelled to many different areas such as Lake Tahoe, Sunset Cliff and Death Valley. I was especially fascinated by Yosemite National Park. Being immersed in nature led me to work with the concept of the ‘Sublime.’

After I came to the UK in 2016, I started to work with cloud images. At first, the memories of Yosemite Park and the photographs of artist Ansel Adams were scattered in my mind. I collected and reconstructed the images until I was left with the piece which is currently being displayed at not just a shop.

How did you make the pieces in not just a shop?

I worked at the printmaking workshop at Central Saint Martins. It was the first time that I learned the technique called ‘photo-etching.’ I tried to oxidize deeply to express the strong materiality of the zinc plate.

Who has influenced your work the most?

As I said above, Ansel Adams was the artist that I’m most influenced by. The depth of tones and the details are so beautiful. I also referred to some romanticism artists; Caspar David Friedrich and Mallord William Turner.

The cloud image takes the role as a symbol of spirituality. Whilst studying the landscape of  Yosemite Park, I felt the small existence of myself and the emotion of fear. This was the first time that I strongly felt the spirituality of myself.

When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career as an artist?

It’s quite hard to talk about when I started to pursue a career as an artist. Instead of wishing to be an artist, I’ve had the attitude that I want to translate the world through my own visual language. Personally, I’m not looking forward to making a new thing. I am the one who transforms and reconstructs the images of nature or inventions that have already existed.

Hyun Ah Kwon's studio

What do you want viewers to take away from your work?

I hope that audience are reminded of their own memories.

What three things are essential to your practice?

Spirituality, experience/contemplation and materiality.

What is the most inspiring place or exhibition you’ve been to in London?

There are so many high-quality exhibitions in London. As an art lover, I love to go and see art pieces. Tacita Dean at the Royal Academy of Art, Wolfgang Tillmans at the Tate Modern, Sarah Sze at Victoria Miro gallery, Do Ho Suh also at Victoria Miro gallery, U fan Lee at the Serpentine Gallery, Lan Cheng at the Serpentine Gallery and Alva Noto at the Barbican were the exhibitions in my mind.

What’s the first thing you do in the studio?

Every work has a different process but normally, I research the ideas from books and the web first.

How does it feel to have your work displayed in not just a shop?

I’m glad that I could display my work in not just a shop with other creative artists and designers from UAL. In the beautiful shop, I could not only exhibit work but I also get an opportunity to sell work. Also, I have a platform to talk about myself and my work, so it’s good chance to take part.

What sort of a person do you imagine would relate to your work?

I not sure about that yet. But I love the artists, Nam June Paik, John Cage and Bruce Nauman. 

Great to hear from you Hyun Ah Kwon! Take a closer look at not just a shop, 272 High Holborn, WC1V 7EY!

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