1. How did you hear about The School of Visual Arts (SVA) Summer Residency Program? Did you know that The Society offered funding for Turkish artists to participate in the program?

I knew that Merve Deniz was accepted to the program last year, but I didn't know about the application process and participants of previous years. I saw this year’s call for application from SAHA Association's post on social media. 

2. Tell us a little about your experience. How was the program? 

It was a very valuable experience both for my artistic practice and for my life. I had the opportunity to work closely with our mentors Dara Birnbaum, Media Farzin and Willim Powhida, whom SVA brought together for this program. In order to produce my artwork in the Summer Residency Program, I had to make interviews first. I wanted to capture a whole new artistic level with help from both my mentors and the art professionals that I met in NYC. When my selected interviewees agreed to be interviewed, the process began. The program itself does not lead to the development of artistic practice alone. Being in New York also reminds you of freedom of expression, the comfort of wearing what you want, and the relief of being on the street as you are. These are not separate from each other. Just being on the street changes your whole mind. It is very valuable to be with other artists participating in the program, walk around the city with them and to witness their process of artistic productions. For example, an artist from Brazil who participated in the program talked about “comfort food”, a term I never thought about. We had deep conversations about how we are shaped by our culture or how multinational we are. Artistic co-production, sharing, being together side to side are really valuable aspects of residency programs.

3. How did the program and your time in New York City improve your artistic career?

This program allowed me to meet many art professionals and visit pop-up shows and bookstores. I walked a lot. Previously, I did business and museum visits. However, the lectures coupled with studio visits and group critiques within the program resulted in our work processes being shaped on more solid ground.

4. What’s next for you?
I am currently working on my next solo exhibition. I also want to continue working on the “Person, Action, Situation” art series that I started here in NYC.


About the Artist: Huo Rf

Huo Rf  (born in 1988, Mersin) lives and works in Istanbul. Huo Rf contemplates on a wide range of topics including the theory of self, personal boundaries, encounters, modern-day myths and leaving traces. He mainly produces works using painting, sculpture, photography, video, and copper for its properties of conductivity, conveyance and reflectivity. Some of Huo Rf’s solo exhibitions are " ... was here- Elhamra Han, Istanbul (2018)", "Stories in Reverse - Pi Artworks Istanbul, (2017) ", " Possible - Karl Gallery Istanbul (2015)". Group exhibitions include Sunday Morning, Galerist, Istanbul (2018); Beyond Words, 4. International Mardin Biennial, Mardin (2018); KEK Sever Misiniz?, The Women’s Library and Information Centre Foundation, Istanbul (2018); Spring, 13. Sharjah Biennial offsite Istanbul branch; Signs of Time, Istanbul (2017); Replaced, Rampa Istanbul (2016).Huo's closing exhibition ‘... person, action, situation ...’ took place at SVA Open Studio on August 8.



Rf attended Contemporary Practices from July 8-August 9, 2019. During his 5 week experience at SVA, he explored the concept of "shame".His research related to marginalized groups and their experiences.




More from Huo RF: 

Huo writes a column called "Huo Is Asking" for Art Unlimited, a modern and contemporary art site for artists wishing to exhibit, sell, buy, create, share or discover artworks from international authors, painters, illustrators, designers, sculptors, photographers, graphic designers, models, and other creators. For Art Unlimited's May issue, he interviewed his mentor, Dara Birnbaum at the SVA Summer Residency Program last year! Click here to read Dana's interview about her art.