Ellie Kyungran Heo is an artist who experiments with perceptual processes, approaching subjects through the media of moving image, sound and installation. Exploring points of tension between the anthropological and the ecological, Heo studies how art can affect human perceptions, highlight ecological conflicts which are often excluded by social conventions and promote an alternative discourse—argument, reflection and reconstruction—on conflicts between individuals and other living beings, and their societies and environments.
Heo's practice, in conjunction with field research on her subjects, considers:
•    the writing of the French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, who theorised the interface between the Self and the Other in terms of a meeting between singularities (Totality and Infinity, 1969), harnessing Levinas’s insights into the relationship between humans and their environment; 
•    Adam Smith's theory of imagination and speculation that relates to aesthetic engagement (The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1759);
•    Jacques Derrida’s biopolitical theories on the force, rights and justice in human and non-human relations (The Animal That Therefore I Am, 2008 and The Beast & Sovereign Volume 1-2, 2008); 
•    Jane Bennett’s political theory, which recognises the active participation of non-human forces in human events (Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things, 2016);
•    Anat Pick’s film-philosophy that presents the aesthetic point of view in ethical thinking about the vulnerability of species (Creaturely Poetics: Animality and Vulnerability in Literature and Film, 2011); and
•    Daniel Chamovitz’s plant sensory systems theory, which seeks to answer the question of ‘what is “sense” for humans and for plants?’ (What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses, 2012).
Following graduation from the Royal College of Art in London (2015), Heo has exhibited and screened her work widely, including the Contemporary Art Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil, São Paulo; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow; Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; Whitechapel Gallery, London; LUX Moving Image, London; and The Photographers’ Gallery, London.
Contact: ellie.kyungran@gmail.com​​​​​​​


Notes:​​​​​​​
2018-2020
The law and common sense morality can help us to achieve a certain goodness in life but there is a limit to how well one can live according simply to the rules. There is a passivity in this approach to living well. Can art take us further and help us to approach the honourable life actively, as better beings?
2017
'All' is in smAll.
2014-2015
The questioning of Being is an experience of Being in its strangeness. […] The question is itself a manifestation of the relationship with Being. Being is essentially alien and strikes against us. We undergo its suffocating embrace like the night, but it does not respond to us. […] And if it is more than this question, this is because it permits going beyond the question, and not because it answers it. What more there can be than the questioning of Being is not some truth, but good - Emmanuel Levinas, Existence & Existents
Questioning other beings means paying attention to them. It is definitely good to go beyond being curious about others and opening up to otherness, by seeking to understand oneself.
2011-2013
To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour - William Blake
One tiny thing is an opening to the bigger world, a start to understanding the wider whole. In other words, the most precious moment could be a bridge to convey us towards the eternal. In the sharing of the breath of the moment, there is a movement towards breathing together in an unlimited space.


Selected online references and reviews: