Hyon Hartberger is a professional Artist who was born in South Korea and now resides in the United States. Hyon is now working on an MFA in New York. She has been creating art for more than thirty years and has been actively breaking into the American art market recently via a series of high-profile showcases at top-rate venues including New York City’s prestigious ArtExpo. Hyon recently discussed her work, her studies, and her plans for the future of the profession.


Blasting News (BN): What prompted you to seek a career as an artist and how did you find your unique style; for instance, what are your biggest inspirations and influences?

Hyon Hartberger (HH): Art is all about expressing yourself. I think what really led me to start painting was the need and want to express myself freely. I grew up in South Korea and am really grateful to my mother because she was the one who really believed and supported me pursing the arts. I am a master calligraphist but currently am working on my MFA. I have started to work with other mediums such as acrylic and marble powder. In the beginning when I first started to say that my biggest inspiration was Gerhard Richter. But these days I've been looking more into myself for inspiration. I just follow the rhythm of my brush and whatever emotion I'm feeling that day. My art has become increasingly more personal and while that is scary to me I'm also excited to see where that takes me.

The work that I had showing at this exhibition was one of my most recent works. I think that you can see my calligraphy background while also being able to see my new abstract styling. I think it's important to visit other artist's shows, gallery openings etc. The art community can seem very daunting but I think it's very important to interact with it.

BN: You recently had a show at the Demouzy Gallery in Rockville Center, Long Island. How did you find out about that gallery?

HH: I found out about the gallery through the director of HOV. We are an art collective and the opportunity was brought forth by DongHee.

BN: Where have you exhibited artwork and how does the art scene differ between Korea and America?

HH: I have had shows in Hong Kong, South Korea and the United States. I think the art scene in South Korea is more playful. You can easily find traditional artists that hand down practices and stylings that are thousands of years old. But it's even easier to find someone trying a brand-new way of bringing the canvas alive. Every time I visit Korea I'm blown away by the amount of new things and new ideas that I see. If you visit areas such as Hongdae you'll be amazed by the amount of art and music. It's one of the epicenter of the art world for the younger generation. It's fascinating to see the vast array of different art styles and artists. It's definitely more playful and lighthearted.


BN: What are the most rewarding aspects of living life as a professional artist and what advice would you give you youngsters who are hoping to become professionals?

HH: I have a goal of showing people my world through my canvas. I think that I have been able to really express myself through my art and I want to be able to show the world that. I think the most rewarding thing as a professional artist is being able to share my work. It's the looks upon people's faces and listening to their interpretation of my work.

One piece of advice that I would give younger artists is to try new things! It's the most important thing. You have so much time and the energy when you're younger. When you get older you feel like time is being taken from you too quickly and you won't be as willing to try new styles. Try it when you're younger and you'll be able to expand your art range and skills.

BN: Do you want to try out any new mediums or styles soon and what else is coming up for you?

HH: I think I have a lot to look forward to after I complete my MFA. I feel as though with this new series that I have completed I am finally coming into my own as an artist. I want to have shows around the world and share with people the new work that I have produced.