Discovering the Identity Awareness: Heesu Choi

“The concept of my work is to find pure, primitive natural conditions that are forgotten in the contemporary world.”

Describing his artistic tendency as neo-primitivism, Heesu Choi aims at depicting the purest, innermost world of the human soul. Letting his subconscious guide his hand, he depicts forms that are abstract and primitive rather than realistic, experimenting with and discovering the identity awareness. The intense colors and complex geometrical shapes which are intricately woven into delicate compositions have earned Choi an extensive following among art lovers.

Heesu Choi is currently exhibiting quite a few artworks at Agora Gallery and will be participating at this year’s Affordable Art Fair, New York.

Heesu Choi
Heesu Choi in his studio | Hwaseong, So. Korea

You define your art as “critique of contemporary high-tech digital culture”. Could you talk about that a little bit?

Digital culture fills human existence with many conveniences, but it can not replace our spiritual realm. Therefore, the concept of my work is to find pure, primitive natural conditions that are forgotten in the contemporary world. Compared to digital, my work requires a lot of time. I call it “slow work”.

What is the significance of jute in your artworks and how did you begin to incorporate it into your practice?

Jute is a natural fiber material used primarily in farming for bags, ropes, and other fabrics. It was an amazing discovery to me and I wanted to express the strong energy of a living farmer at the knot of a stitching jute. I find a strong primitive image on the seam and try to make it a key point in my work. When sewn until it expands along the accidental bending of jute, knots are formed like blood vessels, nervous tissues or lifelines, which are thick or thin, so that a very natural life shape is obtained.

A lot of your artworks are lyrically inclined, whether in the abstract forms or in their sculptural shape. Does music play a role in your practice?

Of course, my work has many musical influences. The rhythm is the heart of life, the core of the natural.

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Who are your artistic influences – artists, musicians, or thinkers?

I love music. I especially like the duet “The Prayer“ of Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion. I have been influenced by three artists for a long time and have respected them. Rufino Tamayo, Jean Dubuffet, and Paul Klee. I feel as if they’re my brothers or close friends.

Heesu Choi
Wild Sound-C | Acrylic on Sewing Jute

Do you have a favorite among your works?

Among my works, “Wild Life-L” and “The Nostalgia” are the best. The reason for this is
that their spaces are widely organized and there is a lively movement.

With collectors across the globe and multiple awards such as Korean National Art Exhibitions, Hanguk & Jungang Art Grand Prix, MBC Sculpture Competition, and many more, the South Korean artist’s creations are a must-see for a contemporary art lover.


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