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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The “Urban Fabric” of Heidi Nam

Heidi Nam poses with her favorite piece in her exhibition “Urban Fabric” (Photo by Rose Weldon ’19).

Multimedia artist’s new collection now in Merion Hall.


Every few months, students gracing the second floor of the Merion Hall atrium notice different sculptures and paintings on their way to the upper rooms of the building. The art stands as conversation pieces with classmates or fodder for Instagram posts, and its constantly changing nature keeps those who frequent the second floor interested.

Being chosen to have work displayed in the atrium is no small feat, according to Devon D’Andrea ’20, the gallery’s exhibition research assistant.

“We’re looking for dynamic, eye catching work,” D’Andrea said. “Something that breaks up the monotony of walking to class.”

This month, the high-traffic area is occupied by an eye-catching collection entitled “Urban Fabric,” created by artist Heidi Nam. The exhibit officially opened at an event on Sept. 14, attended by members of the art department, their students and Nam herself. “Urban Fabric” is composed of a series of multimedia works, with Nam utilizing methods such as silkscreen and woodblock prints, drawings, photographs and painting to achieve her ideas.

D’Andrea introduced Nam at the event and spoke of her great interest in the compendium of pieces.

“I was immediately engrossed when I first saw this collection,” D’Andrea said. “Most of the canvases in this show are centered around repeating formation and grid patterns, and I found it very easy for me to get lost in the repetition of the patterns.”

In a speech she gave at the event, Nam said that her work was inspired by a 2011 trip she took to her childhood home in Korea. By that time, most of the buildings in her village had fallen into disrepair and were gathering moss, which Nam illustrated in her work by layering different paper textures and creating collages on canvas.

The village depicted in these pictures was where her love of art began in earnest.

“I was drawing all the time, whenever I could find time as a child,” Nam said. “When I was about eight or nine years old, I had a dream that I was taking a rocket to the moon. I took that dream and I did a painting of it, and I won a big award for it.”

From there, Nam continued creating art throughout her life, becoming particularly interested in multimedia. “Urban Fabric” is her eighth solo exhibition in a professional career that has lasted over 15 years.

While her images of urban life and scenery are striking, Nam said that she would like to work on re-creating more organic wonders in the future.

“I want to explore more natural phenomena,” Nam said. “Nature gives me so many inspirations and ideas. I’d love to look at something miniscule, even bacteria would be interesting. That’s something I haven’t explored yet.”

D’Andrea said that she is inspired by the exhibition and hopes that fellow students will see its importance.

“Heidi’s work and artistic process reflect the personal life experiences that shaped her as an artist and as a person,” D’Andrea said. “Not only is her work captivating from a visual perspective, its emotional depth is an integral part of her collection.”

Nam also has some words of wisdom for those who want to begin creating art, but are unsure where to start.

“Start from anywhere,” Nam said. “Even if you have a little idea, start something. Don’t wait until you have a good idea, just begin it.”

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