“Perfectly beautiful things don’t attract me”: Heesun Seo on her nontraditional practice

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Over the years, she’s developed a working practice that questions everything. She purposely sets out to break the traditional rules of graphic design and typography, constantly pondering on what makes something visually beautifully. In order to break the rules, she first has to fully understand them. And in this vein, she probes her inherent likes and dislikes to push her practice and creativity forward.

“I draw inspiration from everything that I see, from what I see on the streets, in movies, in nature and so on,” she adds on her creative process. Predominantly however, when faced with a brief, like many other practitioners, her ideas mainly come from research. “If I need to design a work based on an apple, I would look for what apple means, where it comes from and how it is presented in different social, cultural and contextual backgrounds,” she exemplifies.

Using this method, Heesun talks us through two meaningful projects that she’s worked on. The first, Vacances dans l’univers, which involved coming up with an imaginary person, a Russian outer-space stone collector devised by her and another Studio Hik member Jihoon Jeong. The pair designed a range of objects relating to his stone collection, elevating it into a beautifully designed output. The second is a wallpaper design interpreted from the novel White Jack by Edith Hyeon. The concept of the design is to recreate a portal to another universe where the book’s protagonist exists. Heesun adds on these two projects, “I picked these two because they are works where I could freely make my own interpretations and suggestions, unlike other works where the theme is suggested by the commissioner.” Continuing to explore the medium of graphic design in untraditional ways in the future, Studio Hik hopes to work further in the wider net of the art and design sector, offering up a unique vision and insight for both client, viewer and, of course, designer.

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