조성희 · Cho Sung Hee




Sung-Hee Cho is a Seoul based artist whose works are influenced by the sublime aesthetic of nature. Sung-Hee finds many inspirations from her childhood. Cho recalls living in a traditional Korean house, han-ok, throughout her adolescence. In a typical traditional Korean house, all the doors and windows are pasted with Hanji paper. Every two years, all the doors and windows had to be delicately repaired. Moments before repair began Sung-Hee was given permission to poke numerous holes on all the doors and windows.

Ever since she was a child, her mother would allow Sung-Hee to draw on the walls as she liked. By the age of 6, many of Sung-Hee’s house walls were covered with countless drawings of beautiful flowers from her father’s garden. In the garden, her father has taught her that the essence of beauty lies in nature. He would repeatedly tell Sung Hee that through carefully and sincerely nurturing the trees, one can bring out the best quality in them. Cho’s hanji series is the result of the artist recreating her most cherished memory.

Hanji, also known as asian mulberry paper, plays a critical role in Sung-Hee’s art. It not only serves as an embodiment of her childhood memory, but it also is an integral element of her unique mark making. Cho uses a collage method in which many circles are hand-cut or gently torn from hanji, then layered with oil pigments and placed one atop another. More than 10,000 pedals are placed on any given painting. Through her sincere work ethics, Sung-Hee successfully combines a traditional Korean sensibility with her unique vision and personal narrative. Her works display the complex relationship between colour, texture, and space. Through such a laborious and time-consuming process Sung- Hee is able to get one step closer to the ideal beauty of nature.

Sung-Hee Cho was born in Jeon-ju, South Korea in 1949. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Hongik University (Seoul, South Korea) and M.A., Graduate School of Education Ewha Women’s University (Seoul, South Korea). Her works have been exhibited nationally and internationally at galleries and museums including National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul, South Korea), Gallery Hyundai (Seoul, South Korea), Tambaran Gallery (New York, NY), Opera Gallery (London, UK), and Mudima Foundation (Milan, Italy). Her works are part of the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art (Seoul, South Korea), Sejong Art Center (Seoul, South Korea), New York Korean Cultural Center (New York, NY), Los Angeles Korean Cultural Center (Los Angeles, CA), Domino Sugar & Co. (New York, NY), Starbucks & Co., Howard Schultz Private Collection (New York, NY), among many others.