Meet the Artist: Heesop Yoon

On April 16th, the Brooklyn Museum will host its fourth annual Brooklyn Artists Ball in celebration of the borough’s creative community. Leading up to the event—which honors artists Jenny Holzer, Ai Weiwei, and Kehinde Wiley, and features a benefit auction, dinner, and dancing—we spoke with artists who’ve contributed to the cause about their local art scene, their donation, and who they hope to run into on the dance floor.

Our chat with Heesop Yoon follows:

Artsy: What is your personal relationship to Brooklyn? 

Heesop Yoon: I moved to New York from Korea in 2002 and spent most of my time in Brooklyn, either working or living. I lived or had a studio in various parts of Brooklyn, such as Prospect Heights, Sunset Park, and Williamsburg. Now Brooklyn feels like my second home, as it is for many people who have come from all over the world. It is a very welcoming, vibrant, and supportive community for newcomers. 

Artsy: Where are you based in Brooklyn—whether your home, studio, or both? 

HY: I live in Williamsburg. I also used to have a studio in Sunset Park until I moved to my current studio space in Long Island City (Queens). 

Artsy: And what’s exciting about the current Brooklyn art scene? 

HY: Brooklyn has this intense creative energy that you can’t feel anywhere else. It is full of makers and thinkers and that creative energy is not just limited to white cubes or a specific audience. The Brooklyn art scene always tries to connect and involve art and the community. I love when I find out about unexpected street art and murals that are spread out all over Brooklyn. 

Artsy: Can you name a few favorite local Brooklyn haunts—places to eat, drink, see art? 

HY: Art: BRIC Arts, BAM, Momenta, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic GardenPierogi, Regina Rex, Storefront, Outlet, and art on the street. To eat, drink: House of Small Wonder, Manhattan Inn, Aurora, The Islands, The Commodore, Brooklyn Winery, my apartment, and many more...

Artsy: What are some of the most important resources for Brooklyn artists? 

HY: I feel like a lot of inspiration comes from experiencing the diversity of Brooklyn; diversity of people, community, culture, and scenery. Also, the industrial living and working environment gives Brooklyn its character. 

Artsy: Can you tell us a bit about the work you’re donating to the benefit auction, which will be supporting the museum and the Brooklyn artist community, and why you’re happy to contribute? 

HY: It is an 8”x8” black-and-white etching. It is a drawing of a still life from warehouses, storage spaces, secondhand stores, and people’s basements, which are often claustrophobic spaces that are hidden within our lives. These are drawings of things that I visually collected by photograph when I was traveling in Korea, Europe, and the U.S. I have been living and working in Brooklyn for a long time and have taken advantage of the benefits and creative energy in Brooklyn. I am happy to be able to contribute to the Brooklyn art community by sharing my work, which I was able to create under the influence of living in Brooklyn. 

Artsy: At the Brooklyn Artists Ball, I want to dance with: 

HY: You.

Auction bidding begins April 7th at 12:00pm EST. Register to bid and explore the Brooklyn Artists Ball on Artsy

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