Junghwa Park is an Ashcan graduate who is hard not to notice. She is a prolific artist who continually reveals an ever-changing array of new illustrations, fine art work and adorable products. When she was a student at Ashcan I would look forward to seeing her new ideas, and I still do now. Her characters include a reoccurring Bunny Girl, Bunnies, red polka dot underpants– Bunnies in red polka dot underpants, she has definitely created her own friendly and innocent world. I can’t wait to see what her characters will do next.
Director, Ashcan Studio
” All the questions surrounding us are human- made, and every answer lies in nature” Junghwa Park
Hayley: Where do you study now and what year?
Junghwa: I am a senior at SVA.
Hayley: What is your major?
Junghwa: My major is illustration. But I keep taking fine art classes. It helps me to have a wider range of sight than if I were just taking illustration classes. It allows me to meet more people and talk about different topics too.
Hayley: When were you a student at Ashcan Studio?
Junghwa: I was a student at Ashcan Studio every summer 2007-2009.
Hayley:What was your experience like making a portfolio for art school?
Junghwa: I had to go to Ashcan Studio everyday 10am-8pm. Even if it seems tough, it was not to me. I was so energetic and had enthusiasm because I could create whatever I wanted to everyday.
Hayley: Yes, I remember your enthusiasm, you made a lot of really great work. What is life like in art school?
Junghwa: It is like traveling all the worlds on the earth!
Life at art school is not only like exploring the world we live in, but also learning what kinds of different worlds exist and how people live there. Meaning that art school has allowed me to find who I am and how I look at the world. Of course, I am learning technical knowledge, but also processes that automatically make me think about who I am. Since art is creation, the artist becomes The Law in their creations. So, if you are not sure about who you are, you will struggle when you make art.
Also, I’ve learned how other people see their art during class critiques at SVA. Everyone has very unique personality and they live with their own sight in the world. Even inhabiting the same world, we live in different worlds with our own unique ways of seeing. In that way, life at art school is like exploring all kinds of different minds which feels like traveling to different worlds.
Hayley: Do you have a good or funny story about your time at Ashcan?
Junghwa: It was such a long time ago to remember it.. I think every moment at Ashcan Studio was precious. In a small room, we squeezed together with friends and art works all day. It was nice to work and hang out with friends at the same time in the studio. Later on, I felt like all my friends at Ashcan were family.
Hayley: What is the most important thing you learned?
Junghwa: The most important thing I leaned at Ashcan is that I have to treat my art preciously if I want my work treated nicely by other people. I remember a few other friends wanted to give small art works to teachers to thank them. But they never took a student’s work for free. They taught me how to appreciate my work and other people’s work.
Hayley: What inspires you most?
Junghwa: Everything inspires me when I am ready to be inspired.
Hayley: You’ve been really proactive in making and selling products that feature your Illustrations, more than most students I would say, why would you say that is?
Junghwa: Do you mean why do I make and sell products? I always wanted to connect art and commercial. I keep working on fine art work, however, I do not want to be a fine artist showing at galleries. I did fine art exhibitions quite a lot after I came to college. But I did not feel satisfied with how the art work is confined inside the gallery. I want my work to be around people and a part of people’s lives. That’s why I connect my art with products. That way, people can enjoy my work in their daily lives.
Junghwa Park Products
Hayley: You did a huge job for Cafe Bene, how did that job come about?
Junghwa: There was posting on an SVA page from Cafe Bene. They were looking for an illustrator for a new project. I sent an email to them, and the art director really loved my work.
Junghwa Park Products
Hayley: That’s so cool. I remember seeing your work covering this huge space, the whole street corner on 27th and seventh ave, near FIT. What are some new products and projects that you are working on?
Junghwa: I am planning new installation at public and performance at public as well. Also, more product for daily life is coming soon officially before next year.
(here is my essay for my work, dream, and future plan. I wrote this essay last month for class)
Find who you really were once you find nature of self-consciousness. The fundamental question I pose in my work is self-consciousness and processing of self-consciousness. Processing of self-consciousness is oneself recognizes themselves by limitation between self (finite) and others (infinite.) However, once oneself recognizes one’s limitation, that limitation disappears and struggles with new limitation. This is self-consciousness process that awareness of another’s awareness oneself through their own limitation. That limitation is flexible and infinite depends on who you are and how you think.
I have always been inspired by nature. Since I think about the nature of being human, I not only question the fundamental question of human beings, but also question the basis of where human belong within this grand scheme. People cannot deny that we are a part of nature and that we can never escape nature. Since nature exists we are created in the earth. I am inspired by this essential nature. All the questions surrounding us are human, made, and every answer lies in nature. Nature endlessly persists., we just tend to ignore or forget about it.
This question coincided with the beginning of my life in America. Since culture and language boundaries were a big communication problem for me, I started an internal dialogue, and was swept up in my own thoughts. Whenever I want to escape from reality, I create my own world through art. I did not necessarily understand what I was making, and only later realized that I was creating my own world from my dreams. Since I make work from my fantasies, art became my means of communication, overcoming the boundaries of culture and language. Since art asks fundamental questions it has fewer boundaries. Therefore, I can communicate my life and ideas.
With these ideas of nature of self consciousness, I want to communicate with people. My work creates half of the art—through my own thoughts and life. After that, the audience brings their own life and experience to forge meaning and complete each artwork. With real self mind, and universe question, I want to communicate with everybody without boundaries.
For the future, I do not only want to develop my idea as fine art, but I will also combine with commercial art. Therefore, people also can assimilate with art in the life without boundaries of fine art. Since I realized my art vaguely started my own world has message to the world, I want to develop my art with amazing people at fabulous place.