For the opening of our new Vulcan Lane flagship store in Auckland, New Zealand, Korean artist, Yoo Hyun created two beautiful works of art; portraits of Sir Michael and Lady Christine Hill. Celebrating not only our 300th store but Sir Michael & Christine's 50th wedding anniversary - a love story Michael Hill Jewellers grew from. Here, Yoo Hyun tells us more about his exquisite works, and the many hours of craftsmanship and skill that went in to creating the portraits.
"I am an artist, Yoo Hyun, thirty-two years old. I was born in Daegu, a city in South Korea. I majored in Korean painting in University. My interests were mainly in traditional mediums, such as Korean ink, Korean paper called ‘Hanji’, and effective ways of expression with them.
I always had a passion in painting, and wanted to study more about it, which was how I ended up going to Japan and majored in Western style painting. It was a meaningful time, during which I found my true identity as an artist.
Through the process of many trials and errors, I was able to establish my own art form that features with paper cutting and the concept of space. "
"When I saw pictures of Sir Michael and Christine Hill, I could tell that they had dignity, generosity, grace, and warmth and wanted to reflect that in the work."
"I tried to make a pattern of an image with smooth lines and give a feeling of paper that is cut with sophistication. I wanted to make a dramatic image by splashing ink more dynamically, so I could reflect what I felt at the moment that I saw the pictures of Sir Michael & Christine, into the image."
Hyun's work can take days, perfectly cutting each finely detailed shape from the paper is one of the most time consuming tasks requiring a steady hand and a meticulous eye for detail.
"As a start, I make a pattern of my image with dots and lines. I cut traditional Korean paper, hanji, following lines of the image. The image making the patterns of lines is shown on the cut paper, achieving harmony with splashed ink.
It takes four or five days for me to cut the paper once I finish making patterns of lines to make my image recognizable. I usually spend ten days to complete a work after splashing ink."