BISKET BACKSTAGE : Artist Interview with JHU
Q: We are starting with our first question. Can you briefly introduce yourself?
A: Hello, I am Juyeol Choi (JHU), and I do painting and digital works.
Q: How did you start your career?
A: When I was living in New York, I saw a cockroach. You know how many of those are in New York. One day, I saw a cockroach, so I chased it and caught it. Then I looked at its dead body, and it had wings. A thought came up in my head. “Why doesn’t it fly with its wings?” Wings can be a huge talent in a way, why doesn’t it fly? I saw myself in it at the time. I loved drawing and I was good at it, but I just forgot about it and continued with my life. Maybe I carried my talent like a burden because of the social stigma or the financial status. But then I thought, “I might as well live while keep doing what I want to do.” And since then, I decided to live for the painting works and my personal works. I was living as a designer before.
Q: What are your ethics when it comes to art in general, and your creations in particular?
A: For my ethic, the most important thing is satisfying myself. I think, in a way, the world began when I was born and ends when I die. In my point of view. And I gotta be happy to make the world look happy. So, in the end, I think the best work is to create something I love. I firmly believe that if I focus on what I want and like rather than what other people say, someone will empathize with me.
Q: I agree, self-satisfaction is quite important. Where do you usually get inspired? It can be an object or a place.
A: I don’t have anything in particular, I get inspired from everything I have seen, felt, and experienced in my life.
Q: Can you briefly introduce the works you exhibited in BISKET?
A: Actually, I think I express something very personal in my work, but language is kind of a social tool in a way. I think it is impossible to translate something so personal in language, so I just expressed myself. What I think is for the expressive part, analog paintings show emotions. Of course, computers and digital works can imitate painting, but I don’t think they will ever get to that level. As for painting, you can express it directly from your fingertips while digital works need process. So the work I exhibited is a combination of the emotional delivery from the analog painting and the accuracy of the digital work… The advantage of digital work is a sharp, accurate calculation. I combined the benefits of them.
Q: Is there an artwork you exhibited in BISKET that you feel particularly attached to?
A: Not really. I don’t favor one more than others particularly, I feel attached to all of them. Because each of them is unique.. and resembles me in a way.
Q: Are there any role models or figures that influenced your art?
A: I was selling art on the street in front of the Whitney Museum in New York. I just went out there headfirst because I had to make money. I had a lot of concerns about if the artworks would be sold or not, and if I could make it or not, but one day this old man came over, bought my art, and asked me why I am selling art on the street and if I am interested in working for a gallery. So I said I don’t know, I like it this way or something along the line. Then he said his name would be useful someday and wrote down his name and left. I was like what the.. and searched him. Then I was like wow, he was a great critic. He interviewed Basquiat a while ago and also interviewed people like Demian Hirst. I was shocked. It kind of cheered me up. Yea, it did cheer me up actually. It did. It made me think “Maybe I can make it, and maybe people will like my art.”
Q: Is there a particular reason behind why you choose certain topics and materials?
A: There are no particular topics of my art. As for the materials, I just choose whatever looks fun to me. I just use whatever I can.
Q: Do you have any tips on appreciating your artwork?
A: Just view it however you want to. Since I draw whatever I want, I want the viewers to appreciate however they want. That is why all the artworks are titled as the name of the cities like Seoul.
Q: You often use typography in your art, is there a special meaning behind it?
A: It doesn’t mean anything, I pay more attention to the shape of the typography rather than what it means. So I view it as an object. But when I do care about the meaning, I just try to make the meaning unpredictable.
Q: You recently participated in Urban Break 2021, tell us how you feel.
A: I was very happy. I have participated in other art fairs and sold my works before, but I never got as much attention as Urban Break 2021, which makes me feel very grateful.. happy.. and sort of proud of myself.
Q: I feel like your fellow artists love your artwork a lot. What do you think won their heart?
A: I wouldn’t know. (laughter)
Q: Has finding out about NFT influenced your work in any way?
A: I did create digital works even before I knew about NFT. I was just doing it for fun… But now I am more ambitious.
Q: What made you choose to collaborate with Bisket rather than other pre-existing NFT marketplaces?
A: The CEO and the director work very hard, and they are hilarious. It was entertaining to watch them. They seem interesting so I decided to collaborate with them.
Q: What do you expect to get out of collaboration with BISKET?
A: Well, I think it is a good way to promote myself a little more. I am expecting that.
I will be able to meet a lot of new people, And I think it will be helpful in that direction, so I am expecting those changes.
Q: How is your view on the prospect of the NFT art market?
A: Well… This is just the beginning of it… But I don’t know. I think there will be a lot more good artists out there. I think I’ll have to see. It is kind of uncertain because it is just the beginning of it, just like everything else. I should keep an eye on it.
Q: What is your goal as an artist Jhu?
A: My ultimate goal is to create work that can satisfy me as much as possible. There are other goals are leading up to it, but those are just stepping stones.
Q: Can you describe yourself in one word?
A: Describe me in a word? Uhh… “Me”?
A: Because it’s just.. me. There is no particular reason… It is hard to explain.
Q: I really liked what you wrote on your Instagram recently. You said if you knew how to express yourself in words, you would have been a writer, not an artist. But you are an artist because…
A: Exactly. I express myself as my artwork. If I could express myself in words, I would have… You know, something along the line.
Q: Last question. Is there anything you want to improve or emphasize as you continue with your career?
A: I don’t know about improvement, but I want to emphasize what I am good at. I think I want to emphasize the good parts of my art more. If the good parts catch their eyes, people will only see those.