Artist of the Month - Hyokyoung Choi
What do you like about HS2AS program?
I experience various techniques and learned that I never try before.
How has it influenced you and your artwork so far?
I learned more about what is art and by visiting a lot of museums and galleries, I can see another artists' drawing and talk about what technique that she or he used. That helps me to have communication between the artwork and me.
What is your big dream as an artist?
My big dream as an artist if that becoming aritst who can communicate to people by an artwork.
What have you learned about art?
I learned that art is not only beautiful artworks but also it can be unfinished artwork. In art, there are a lot of definitions of art.
What do you get out of going to museums and visiting artists?
By going to museums and visiting artists, I learned about what is art and talk about what is meaning behinds of the artworks.
When I was in my mother’s stomach, I kicked her stomach strongly, she thought I would be a male. I was swimming in her stomach, so sometimes she heard water sounds from her stomach. She regularly listened to music, explained to me about what music is, played the piano, and read books to me. She had a precognitive dream about giving birth to me. My mother saw a dolphin, and it was supposed to be me. On October 15th, 1997, at 9:12 am, I was born at Seoul Municipal Hospital.
When I was young, I was more active than now. When I was playing soccer or doing something with my friends, I would scrape my knee, leg, and the front of my shoes all the time.
Originally in Korea, I was in the middle of the first semester of third grade when I left for the US with my mother and brother on August 21st, 2012. The news of studying abroad was so sudden, so when our family decided to go to the United States, I alternated between joy and grief.
I never had been to the US before, but I could learn about American culture and meet new friends and teachers.
Before I went to the US, my friends threw a goodbye party for me. The memories of that time keep popping up in my head. The day when I arrived in America, the scenery of America was really beautiful, especially the houses. They were so charming and pretty. The atmospheres in the US and Korea were so different that I felt I was really in America. The first thing that made me surprised was signal lights because they looked like they were going to fall. The second thing was H-mart. I thought I couldn’t eat any Korean foods here, but there they sell Korean foods and material for Korean foods.
The last thing was the squirrels. In Korea, we can’t see them in the street, but in the zoo. But in the US, I can see a lot of squirrels in the streets even in front of my house. After one month, I began attending New Hyde Park Memorial High School. In the classroom, when I talked to friends and I wasn’t at a loss for words, I was filled with pride. The first time when I had a conversation with friends, I made a sentence in my mind for a while and that was “what did you do?” (I wanted to say, “what did you do yesterday?”). In such ways, I tried to think of some English words and sentences while I worried inside about the word barrier and awful loneliness each day. But if my mother and brother were not next to me, I probably couldn’t have adapted to American culture. Fortunately, my school life got fun and I adapted well to the American school as time went on, and I made new friends. After I came here, I think I got better at art, English, and I found out which direction to go for my future.
However, soon there will be a change. I came to the United States almost three years ago. I think this is a turning point of my life. I didn’t know that I would come to the United States and thought I would live in Korea. At first, I couldn’t understand why my mother sent us to the US, because our family is not here and it’s hard to adapt in a new country. But I figured out why my mother brought us here and I feel thankful to my mother. I miss all my Korean friends, father, grandparents, cousin and the food. But I think I am “lucky”. I can learn more about English, about something new that I never experienced in Korea, and meet good friends and teachers. Here, I think I can go step by step to achieve my dreams. So I will strive for my dreams.
This series is about my personal struggle missing my life in Korea while pursuing a new life in the US. I ultimately demonstrate this theme in choosing to draw or paint scenes from my memories, and places around me that I am investigating. Through my artwork, I am able to find where I belong. I find myself surveying the human figure, tracing what I see with a mental figure. I choose to focus on ways to make the people viewing my art feel sympathy.