In the relatively brief time since Ms. Seo Heesun joined the Academy of Visual Arts in September 2017, she has emphatically demonstrated her qualities as an exceptional and popular teacher. She has also made an enduring impact on the Academy’s teaching by totally transforming the Graphic Design curriculum so as to bring it fully up to date in terms of its content and professional relevance.
With the help of Ms. Seo’s untiring devotion, the quality of the Academy’s design work is now of a very high standard. She is nurturing a new generation of Hong Kong graphic designers who are increasingly seeing design as a rewarding career path.
Ms. Seo’s teaching philosophy focuses on a student-centred approach in delivering her courses, actively engaging the students to develop their confidence in presenting their work. Demanding the highest quality of work from her students, Ms. Seo has significantly improved the standard of their output and capabilities. Now they are much more able to express their self-initiated ideas in meaningful ways, paving the way for them to pursue independent careers in graphic design.
Students excel in Ms. Seo’s classes and her enthusiasm and awareness of the different needs of her students enable them to produce exceptional work, develop their team-working skills and inspire their passion for learning. Her students have been fulsome in their praise for Ms. Seo, calling her an inspiration in their work and a role model. Says one: “As a direct Year Three student from another graphic design programme, I thought I already had a mature mindset towards what is good design. But, after attending Ms. Seo’s classes and her sharing session, she successfully removed the boundaries of what is good design from my old mindset.”
Through Ms. Seo’s dedicated efforts, her students presented their work at the first international book fair at the Tai Kwun centre for heritage and arts, a valuable venue for gaining exposure to professionals in the field.
Ms. Seo’s own work as a professional designer has gone from strength to strength. She has undertaken work at a number of internationally renowned institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Seoul Museum of Art in South Korea. Her work also caught the attention of Asia Art Pacific, the leading English-language periodical covering art and culture in Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East, which has engaged her as Art Director.
Ms. Seo’s professional networks and rising standing in the field of Hong Kong graphic design will not only assist her students’ development but also raise the profile of the Academy and the University.
In view of Ms. Seo’s profound commitment to teaching as well as her invaluable contributions to the Academy’s advancement, the Selection Committee unreservedly recommends her as a recipient of the President’s Award for Outstanding Performance in Early Career Teaching.