Hashimoto Contemporary is pleased to present Mythos, a solo exhibition by Chicago-based artist David Heo.

The exhibition will be Heo’s second solo exhibition at Hashimoto Contemporary. For Mythos, Heo showcases his idiosyncratic use of mixed mediums, recurring symbols, and personal themes. Borrowing familiar figures from 1990s popular culture, the artist displaces these icons from their context. By doing so, he re-conceives their influence within a series of long-lasting, classical South Korean vessels and other accompanying works.

This narrative vehicle is a direct reflection of the artists bi-cultural upbringing. Heo explains that the use of popular culture serves as an entry point to present and discuss larger topics, such as power dynamics which manifest as unspoken, insidious rivalries that exist between groups which are regulated to the margins. Understanding this, Heo presents the nuances of these instances which inform biases and consequently define and limit who we are.

The artist illustrates clear visual representations of protagonism and antagonism as learned biases, which influence and shape our aesthetics of what is considered “good” and “evil.” This becomes reified through his image-making and the use of color. These two factors direct the narrative, based on indicators of the meanings that we have associated with these binaries, whether consciously or subconsciously. For example, Priiiiiime (pictured above), intricately layers a range of mixed mediums — the main figure is clad in red, white, and blue. Color, then, emerges as visual rhetoric to help articulate the aforementioned power dynamics. As the viewer shifts their gaze, a second figure emerges from the shadows — depicted only through shades of black.

Stepping away, Heo asks “Without context, who do we assign the role of “Hero” and “Villian”? Who then controls the narrative?”

David Heo (b. Acworth, Georgia) received his MFA in 2018 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He creates artwork that flirts with a variety of genres, including large-scale paintings, works on paper, mural paintings, and brand collaborations. Heo employs elemental materials – acrylic, paper collage, and crayon – to create an intricate interlacing of layers. Through his many influences, such as short stories, Cy Twombly, and anime, Heo intimately improvises between abstraction and biography which synthesizes his lived experiences.