A digital archive of Asian/Asian American contemporary art history

Choi, Sung Ho

Other Names: 최 성호; Sungho; Sung-Ho


"As a bicultural artist, I have depicted the experience of being the 'other', of contrasts and complexities of a minority existing within a majority. Emigrating to the U.S. from Korea had a profound effect on my art. I believe it has expanded my themes and medium.

Most of my work lies on the intersection between different cultures and traditions addressing critical issues of our society. "The way these cultures crash, conflict, destroy and heal each other seems to form certain patterns as do many natural cycles or physics of energy. My art making is the process of collecting, formulating those patterns and finding signifying systems within them. I seek alchemic discoveries in this process.

My artistic goal is to pursue the theme of contrasting identities in a society that is becoming more multi-cultural, and how to define this in 'universal' terms'."

--Sung Ho Choi, Artist Statement

"Sung ho Choi in American Pie has given us a memorable metaphor for an America of may different perspectives, cultures and people. Our new President can see clear our American interests, yet bring assets, a way of seeing in cultural terms that may enable him to see a broader, more encompassing view of our whole country. Such cultural insights are reflected in American Pie. First it is a circle, a design associated with infinity and cyclic patterns rather than a linear path with a beginning and an end. Next it is filled with news of the day, with noise and energy. Behind this tumultuous circular unity, what is new for most Americans is the presence of Asian words or characters.

One of the key written characters in most of East Asia is the character for "Mind" featured in a number of Sung Ho's art works – it is an image or pictorial ideograph. Its etymology is based on an ancient graphic drawing of a human heart. 心 It can be seen from this that in Asia, mind is identical to heart. In Asian traditions, the mind – heart dichotomy does not exist. To Asian eyes, it can appear Western traditions over-emphasizes cognitive rational abilities, and the mind-body split reflects an alienation from 'Nature' – a world of natural phenomena that humanity is not elevated above but is clearly a part. These are the kinds of insights that another culture can bring to our country's relations with other nations, and to other Americans as well."--by Robert Lee, Director, Asian American Arts Centre, for ARTRAIN show catalog 2008

Gallery of Selected Works