A Tale of Grotesque Iconography and Metaphors of Materiality by Cho, Hui-Chin

A Tale of Grotesque Iconography and Metaphors of Materiality by Cho, Hui-Chin

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A Tale of Grotesque Iconography and Metaphors of Materiality by Cho, Hui-Chin

Get to know the artist behind her work

Get to know the artist behind her work

With paintings and sculptures based mainly around grotesque iconographies of babies, Cho Hui Chin hides metaphors in her abstract motifs and frequently uses leathers and furs in her work. Her work is compelling as it is unconventional, but this approach earned her the Cass Art Painting Prize and Steer Price in 2018. Cho's art is a deep reflection on humanity, desire, obsession, and even sadism.

Currently living and working in London, Cho was raised in the multicultural society of Taiwan. She describes it as a blend of Chinese visuals and Japanese culture, undoubtedly having a strong impact on the brilliant but insecure artist. She moved to the UK to enroll at Slade when she was only 18 years old and overcame her bipolar disorder with distorted self-portraits.

Cho is a paradox as she describes herself and her work as "grotesque but serene." As per Cho, her art lends a sense of accomplishment while she's entangled in her insecurities. Interest in death shows itself in her work as Cho frequently explores the relationship between life and death. It reflects in her use of materials like fur and leather as they are sourced from living creatures.

Instead of putting viewers at ease, this bold artist wants to make people feel confused, provoked, and even a little uncomfortable when taking in her work. After all, Cho examines the dark side of the psyche, and she is not afraid of controversy. In fact, she openly presents controversy but in an abstract way. Simply put, she conveys that violence and harsh subjects exist in this world, and we need to accept that fact.

While Cho has had some successful exhibitions, these pieces have been more on the tamer side. Believing an artist should never become too commercial, this innovator understands the importance of stepping outside her comfort zone and challenging her own work, no matter how successful it is. Cho considers this to be her evolution as an artist. 

Speaking of development, Cho is currently earning her Master of Arts in Painting at the Royal College of Art in London. As she continues her education, it will be interesting to see how it affects her work. With her hallmarks being the relationship between materials, incongruous figures, an iconography of infants, and a bizarre yet compelling narrative, the 27-year-old artist has secured a place in the art world that even those much older than her would envy.

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