Inyul Heo was born on Seoul, Korea and received a BFA in textile design from the College of Design, and an MA from the Graduate School of Art and Design, Sangmyung Universiy Korea. In college she discovered a love of tapestry studying with her professor, Myung Hee Oh, a Korean paper artist who exposed her to the use of diverse materials including hand made Korean paper. With the desire to hone her skills, Inyul enrolled in the tapestry program at West Dean College in Sussex, England where after an intensive year of study with Pat Taylor, she received a Professional Development Diploma in tapestry. Inyul left West Dean with the knowledge that tapestry would be her life’s work.
Inyul Heo has exhibited extensively in Korea and China as well as in Europe. She has won numerous awards for her work in tapestry, the most recent of which was from Lausanne to Beijing International Fiberart Biennale Exhibition, Suzhou, China. Inyul taught basic design at Songdam College in 2007 and in spring of 2009 she taught tapestry at Sangmyung University in Korea
Weaving is my life. Repetitive work in the office did not satisfy me, so I often felt as if I had missed something. In order to escape from it I started drawing which had been my favorite thing since I was young. That woke up my hidden dream and gave me the passion to continue art seriously. Eventually, I came to major in textile design and learned about tapestry. The process of crafting beautiful shapes out of fiber grabbed my attention from the beginning. To satisfy my urge to know more about tapestry, I enrolled in the West Dean College tapestry diploma course in the U.K. As I was completing the course, I realized that tapestry would become my life.
The process of creating various shapes from stranding threads together takes a great deal of time. However, it has become a happy time for me, letting me forget about other things and concentrate on my own world. Tapestry teaches me the aesthetics of slowness. Also, textiles are familiar objects to most of us and enjoy a close relationship with our lives. The softness of textiles gives me the peace and comfort I cannot gain from painting. For these reasons, I feel the charm of tapestry every time I work on it. Tapestry is actually an unknown field in Korea. I hope that many more people can appreciate tapestry and have an affection for it.
Nature gives me a lot of inspiration all the time. Since I grew up in the city, I always longed for nature. So whenever I had time, I enjoyed traveling. The nature I have experienced during my travels gives me a place to relax and fills up my thirsty emotion. Feeling nature and becoming part of it makes me become humble and feel respect toward the Creator. Everything in nature teaches me the truth of life. With this in mind, I work on tapestry to share the deep impression I get from nature with others.
Most of my works include two images: tideland and clouds. In the past I used the image of the tideland. The tideland of Korea gives me infinite inspiration for art. The tideland is a place of harmony with the water circulating in and out. Just as it has been said that the idea that is hidden is more beautiful, and what moves in the silence is stronger, so the tideland itself embraces the infinite life of the universe. My works are realistic expressions capturing the shapes according to the images from tideland.
My recent tapestries express the images of clouds. The sky and clouds have been my longtime interests. In the busy city life, looking up, the sky gives me composure, and I feel my heart becomes as wide as the endless sky. Clouds never come back after they leave. That is why they look more beautiful: changeable and ephemeral clouds can be a metaphor for our life. As a Christian, the image of clouds in the Bible gives me symbolic inspiration. Their diversity and their formation can be fascinating themes.
From now on, my work will be aimed at delivering the sentiments of Koreans. I want to produce my works through merging the tapestry of west and the culture of Korea.