By Mudassir Raja
She is at home both in art and fashion. Her art finds inspiration in everyday events. It influences her creation of clothing and related accessories. It is fashion detourned (rerouted) by art, a new way of sharing the vision of an artist and a new way to bring beauty to everyday life.
Chung Hye Yeon, better known as Grace Hye, is a South Korean artist and fashion designer. The 32-year-old entrepreneur runs her fashion brand with the name of Grace Hye. She tries her hand with perfection in paintings, ceramics, interior decoration and fashion designs. Her creations — art works and also fashion designs — are characterised by high quality and personal touch. They are oriented to a clientele looking for high-end quality products.
Community recently caught up with Grace to talk about her personal and professional life.
Please describe your journey thus far.
I was born and brought up in South Korea. I have two sisters and a brother. I am married to a Spaniard, who I met in France and got married in 2016. He works in Qatar.
I was a decent student and my parents wanted me to broaden my horizons. However, I chose to study fashion and art. In 2008, I completed Double Bachelor Degree of Fiber Art and Digital Design from Kyung-won University in South Korea. In 2012, I got Master of Fashion Design and Modelling from École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in France.
Since completion of my studies, I have been living in France. I have been following my interests in fashion design and artwork.
As an artist, I have organised many group and solo exhibitions. All my solo exhibitions have been held in France. I took part in Qatar International Art Festival last year. I am working towards holding a solo exhibition of my creative works in Qatar next month.
On the fashion front, I have worked with different famous houses in France, including Lanvin, Maurizio Galante, and John Galliano. I also happened to be an assistant designer for women’s fashion.
In 2015, I founded my own fashion brand Grace Hye. I work for the brand as artistic director and fashion designer. I have also conducted many fashion shows in Parish highlighting my designs and brand. I also create and design jewelry, shoes and handbags for women.
How did you develop an interest in painting?
I used to draw different things when I was very young as a student. Since then, I have not given up my interest in art. However, professionally I began doing paintings in 2014 in France. I started having my own collections. I have attended some 20 exhibitions so far.
What kind of art do you follow and what techniques do you employ?
I am basically interested in modern art. I also bring some subjects from South Korea. I like working on papers with Chinese ink. I draw whatever inspires me.
I have many details in my artworks. I play a kind of hide and seek in my paintings. We cannot figure out what my paintings are about very quickly. We need to see and think about what I have drawn. After sometime, one can find meaning and story in my work.
I can explain what my paintings are about. However, I want people to think. I like to surprise people with my works. I use splash of colours in my paintings. It is always up to the people how they perceive my work.
I am impressed by many contemporary artists in France, but I am really inspired by Pablo Picasso, the legendry Spanish painter. I love his paintings. I also admire works of Joan Miró i Ferrà, also a Spanish painter, sculptor, and ceramicist.
What is art for you and what are your plans in future?
Today, art and fashion are a very important part of my life. I have always been a very curious and creative person. As an artist, I have a very particular vision of the world and I would like to share it with as many people as possible, by doing an art exhibition, a fashion show or by opening a pop-up store. I think that it is important for everyone to bring art and beauty in their everyday life and that is what I try with my art works and also with my fashion collections. I want the people to stop and think how beautiful our world can be and they should bring these feelings to their everyday actions.
In future, I want to continue working as an artist and fashion designer. I want to have more and more exhibitions to showcase my work. I want to be a part of different art galleries.
Throw some light on your fashion designs…
Every day, I develop designs. Every day, I change my mind, too. Though fashion is similar to art, it is at the same time, different. For me, art is little bit freer. As an artist, I can create something for myself. Fashion is more like a commercial thing. While designing, I can put forward my opinion, but the opinion of others and current trends are more important. I work closely with my customers for my fashion brand. I want what my customers want.
My main goal is to continue developing my brand Grace Hye by opening a store for my collections. I am sure that I will continue working with art and fashion all my life, but at the same time I keep my spirit open to the surprises that any new day might bring. I will follow an open path towards my goal.
How has been your experience coming to Qatar?
I never imagined that one day I would come to Qatar. I came here last year. I took part in an exhibition and met many good people. I got encouraged and now I am going to have my solo exhibition. I see a lot of opportunities here.
The artist community of Qatar is very vibrant and passionate. I see different genres of art here. I was happy to see different subjects, especially Arab, in paintings.
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