Sunday, 31 May 2020

Art a form of communication for Christchurch artist Da Won Choi
Being creative is about having a vision in you head. That is what generates our  art.
Artist Da Won Choi's multi-dimensional artworks are on display at the Bryce Gallery in Christchurch.

Korean-born Da Won Choi spent most of his childhood drawing – his main form of communication.
His parents noticed he drew cars in three dimensional form rather than just connecting lines like other 4-year-olds. 
In 2000, his father was invited to serve at a Korean church in Christchurch. Da Won was aged 9 when he moved with his family to New Zealand.
Profoundly deaf with extremely low vision, his growing up years were difficult.
"It got even harder when my family moved here. I was starting to learn Korean and Korean sign language properly then I needed to learn a whole new language from scratch and adapt to a new culture. I couldn't find ways to communicate my thoughts clearly except through art," he said.
"It's been a difficult process. I do feel that at times, I cannot fully express or communicate my feelings. There are still limitations."

One of his works, titled Deaf Sense, reveals his confusion over his identity as a Kiwi and a deaf and vision-impaired person.

"I communicated through drawings and spent a lot of time alone with pen and paper when young, because art was my only form of expression."
Da Won is also partly colour blind. He uses black pens to draw "because it's what I can see clearly", but recently started experimenting and introducing colours to his work.
Many of his pieces are based on his interests in architecture and vehicles.
"I hope one day I can design a concept car that I may be able to ride on my own," he said.
He favours contrasting ideas in his art, such as mixing nature with technology.
"I've done a few drawings of birds and trees. With them, I have been using those ideas to collaborate and came up with an idea a city on a hill and rebuilding Christchurch.
He researches artists for inspiration, loves reading and catching up with friends, and hopes to travel.
His inspiration is Helen Keller.
"She has encouraged, challenged and inspired so many. I really want to live a life like hers – to give hope to others." 
Da Won's multi-dimensional image of Christ Church Cathedral, imposed on the Transitional Cardboard Cathedral.