top of page
  • Joanne Hsieh (MissyChiao)

藝術家專訪|野心勃勃的青年藝術家 David Heo:藝術不侷限於畫布,它可存在於世界中

Updated: May 27, 2022

Larger Than Life, Chicago Based Artist David Heo

採訪編輯 Interview and Edited by|謝蕎安 Joanne Hsieh

圖文 Image courtesy|David Heo

翻譯 Translation by Joanne Hsieh

芝加哥, USA. Chicago, IL. Special thanks to David Heo

Q:Hi David!謝謝你接受採訪,首先,請問你會怎麼向陌生人形容你的創作?

Hi David! Thanks for doing this interview! First I'd like to ask, how would you describe your art to a stranger?

David:「首先,我會形容我的作品是 ‘適合存在於牆面上的2D圖像'。視覺上來說...是'受到卡漫影響、色彩繽紛的平圖 (flatness) 遇上 Cy Twombly 般揮灑的筆觸和材質感。」

First things first, I’d say ”two-dimensional images that live best on a wall.” Visually? Hmm…”colorful anime/cartoons inspired flatness meets gestural Cy Twombly-esque mark markings and materiality?”

( Cy Twombly, 1928-2011, 美國抽象派藝術大師,Twombly的抽象藝術捨棄了畫面的空間幻覺,轉而朝向表現內在精神特質,作品標題時常取材自歐陸神話、詩歌、歷史。 然而畫面與標題之間的斷裂,富含童趣與凌亂潦草的線條、字母、詞彙的塗鴉筆觸。)



What is your favorite medium to work with?


It’s a tie between paper or crayons. Paper, because it’s NOT precious whatsoever. There’s something magical about not caring if you fuck up or decide to rip, cut, draw, paint, or scratch on it. It’s a very generous medium. You can say the same for crayons too! But for me, crayons is definitely a nostalgic medium. I understand it doesn’t carry the long prestigious lineage like oil paints. Because it’s a childlike medium, my brain defaults to using it in such a different way than paint. I think that’s cool.

Q:你的創作美感 (aesthetics) 源自什麼?

What inspire your aesthetic choices?

David:「我先前提到動漫跟卡通,他們對我有很大的影響。我花超多時間看漫畫、玩Pokemon,或是看遊戲王(Yu-Gi-Oh)之類的卡通。因為這些影響,我很喜歡 ‘平圖 (flatness)’,它是一個我可以完全掌控的詞彙。印刷,特別是絹印,也是很大的美感來源之一。」

I mentioned anime and cartoons earlier. That’s a big inspiration. I spent a lot of time reading manga, playing Pokemon, and watching shows like Yu-Gi-Oh. I think because of that, flatness really hits different for me. It’s a visual lexicon that I fully understand. Also, printmaking, especially silk-screen, is a big aesthetic inspiration.


What are you currently working on?


Besides making my own art, I’m currently working on four different upcoming collaborative projects with some companies and brands. I don’t know if I can talk about all of them, but they’re all stuff I’m excited about working on!

Foresight (oh. that pause) crayon, graphite, flashe and latex paint on canvas, 72 × 65 in. (182.8 x 165.1 cm) 2018


Can you tell us about your educational background/ training/ art related experiences?

David:「長話短說--高中的時候開始刺青,是我第一次接觸 “藝術相關訓練”。2010年,我的藝術學士學位,可以說是一場缺乏指導、漫長地探索各種‘概念’和媒材的過程。在那之後,2016年我的藝術碩士學位是最有建設性的,那是我正式懂得開始把“自我”灌入到所有的創作裡面。」

Long story short: Tattooing in high school was my first introduction to “art training.” Then in 2010, my BFA undergraduate education was just one long stumble of unguided conceptual and material exploration. After that, in 2016, my MFA graduate education was the most formative because that was when I started to actually apply and inject “myself” into everything I wanted to make.

Q:可以聊聊你來自哪裡? 你會推薦遊客去哪些有趣的地方?

Can you tell us where you’re from and what it’s like? Any interesting places/ museums/recommendations for visitors?

David:「搬到芝加哥以前,我出生、成長在喬治亞州(Georgia, USA)北邊一個叫 Acworth 的小鎮。老實說,那裡非常無聊(笑),如果想要去比較“好玩”的地方,你可以開車去亞特蘭大,大約40-45分鐘的車程。」

So before I moved to Chicago, I was born and raised in a smaller town called Acworth. It’s in the northern part of Georgia. Honestly, nothing is exciting there (laughs) I guess if you wanted to go somewhere “exciting,” Atlanta is about a 40-45 minute drive down.


What about Chicago? How has it changed or influenced your work or as a person?

David:「芝加哥 500% 對我的成長有很大的幫助和影響。我十年前剛搬來的時候,我真的是一個自以為是的青少年。隨著時間,芝加哥和這裡的人讓我重新認知自己,並且拋去很多過去的陋習。我還有很多需要放下的,但整體來說我覺得現在的我比從前的進步許多。」

Chicago has 500% influenced and helped me become the person I am today. When I moved here, 10 years ago, I was such a jackass teenager. Over time, this city and its people reshaped me to unlearn a lot of residual problematic habits and behaviors I had. I’m still unlearning a lot, but overall, I like to think I’m a better person now than I was then.“

A mural by David Heo in Chicago.


If anyone decides to come to visit, don’t go to the Loop or think you need to eat deep-dish pizza. There’s so much more to experience and see what this city is booming with. You should just go explore, bar hop, and check out all the neighborhoods.


Q:我記得研究所時,你開始在作品裡探討 "亞裔美籍人士的身份認同“。可以聊聊那個過程,以及這個主題現在是否仍在你的作品裡佔一定比重?

I remember in grad school, you started addressing “Asian American Identity” through your work at one point. Can you tell us about that process, and if it still hold the same importance in your current body of work?


Yeah! I’ve always been devoted to this particular interest. During grad school, I didn’t have the tools to fully articulate my thoughts so I’m pretty sure I was just spewing incoherent nonsense during critiques (laughs). I think this subject is so important to me because I grew up in the South as a child of South Korean immigrants. If I grew up in K-Town in Los Angeles, I’m sure I’d be a completely different person.

「我的“身份認同” 是我創作中不可分割的一部分,因為我的作品與人生經驗有關。這些經驗--都來自於這個世界如何看待我,你知道我的意思嗎?我所有與人之間的互動,對方都是以-"他是亞裔美國人” 這個視角來看我。當我理解這件事之後,我知道我不需要刻意在作品中大量強調自己的身份。我不要用說教的方式,我不需要握著你的手一起畫一隻龍之類的。無論我有意或無意,我的身份認同已經深植在作品裡面。」

My identity is integral to my work because my art is inspired from my lived experiences. All those things are grounded in the world visually perceiving me for who I am, you know? Every single interaction I’ve had is viewed through the lens of “He is an Asian-American.” Once I fully understood that I realized that I didn’t have to depict my identity so heavy-handily in my works. I’m not going to be didactic, hold your hand and paint a dragon or something. My identity is already ingrained in my art, whether I’m conscious of it or not

藝術家工作室一角。David Heo在公寓家中創作大型繪畫。


What is your current studio situation?


I still work in my apartment. The live/work situation came from saving money, but now, I can’t imagine it any other way. I prefer having my studio 3 feet away from my bedroom. It’s nice to know that if I can’t sleep at like 2 or 3 AM, I can walk on over and make something.



What do you do outside of the studio?


Before the pandemic? I used to go out with my friends every other night but saying that feels like a lifetime ago (laughs) Now, I just go on a lot of walks and have been scheduling hang out times with 2 or 3 of my close friends.


Who inspire you and who are your art heroes?

David:「Alex Katz 是我最大的啟蒙導師,不只是他的藝術,是他整個生涯。這個人已經從事創作將近七十年,真瘋狂!他已經九十出頭了仍然 持續不懈地在創作大型畫作。他非常堅持。我期許自己成為那樣的藝術家。我會持續推動自己向前,並從過程中不斷學習。」

Alex Katz is one of my biggest inspirations, not only visually but his whole damn career. It’s so wild to think that this man has been doing his thing for like 60-70 years straight. He’s in his early 90s now and STILL makes these large scale paintings and continues to commit to his practice. He sticks to his guns. That’s the kind of artist I aspire to be. I never want to stop pushing myself and always be continually learning through my practice.


What’s the most memorable experience you have as an artist so far?


I think the most memorable was the first time I was asked to paint an outdoor mural. That surface was like 50 something feet tall, which is enormous for someone who’s never painted outside (laughs), But it was great! That experience showed me that my art doesn’t only have to exist on canvas and can live outside of a gallery. Since then, I’ve been pushing and exploring all the facets to where my art can thrive in.


What’s the best advice you’ve received?


“Can you be in your studio, 5 hours a day, 6 days a week?” “If not, then being an artist is not for you.”


What are some short term and long term goals?


The constant short term goal is to keep hustling on things, so I don’t have to worry about paying bills and rent. Some long term goals: Alway be kind to myself, attempt to make it on the Forbes 30 under 30, collaborate with Doc Martens, become a MacArthur Fellow, and paint two large scale murals as a diptych in Seoul.

特別感謝 David Heo.

Special Thanks to David Heo,

158 views0 comments
bottom of page