Sung Hee Cho’s Vision: Where East Meets West

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
June 25, 1995

South Korean artist Sung Hee Cho got her first taste of art when she was  6. Her father bought her water-based paints and taught her to draw Asian characters on delicate rice paper.  By  junior high school, Cho decided her preference leaned more toward Western art and set her sights on America.

Cho didn’t  immigrate into the  United States right away.  She earned a master’s degree in fine arts from the prestigious Ewha Women’s University before relocating to America 16 years ago.  Now based in Chicago, Cho is presenting  a one-woman show of her abstract paintings and sculptures through July 20 at the Gruen Galleries, 226 W. Superior (312-337-6262).

Q.  What do you like better about Western art than Asian paintings?

Cho:  Oriental painting traditionally has a lot of space and is presented simply, and I never found that to be very exciting.  The paint is thinner and you don’t get as nice colors.  But painting with oil-based paints, you get thicker textures and can do more.

Q.  What inspires you?

Cho:  African art is very beautiful and exciting. I have a collection of African art in my home that inspires me.  Also my 11-year-old son.

Q.  You lived in New York for many years before moving to Chicago a couple of years ago.  What made you decide to relocate here?

Cho:  I had done art shows in Chicago and I also had studied at the School of the Art Institute.  I fell in love with Chicago right away.  It’s better than New York because it’s clean and has the beautiful lake and the friendly people.  I even love it when it’s windy and rainy here.

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