• Heezy Yang

Protect Our Planet, Protect LGBTQ+ Rights

sustainability environmental earth day art by korean queer lgbtq activist and artist heezy yang featuring kurt cobain's outfit
Outfit Inspo: Kurt Cobain

It was probably around 2013, when I decided to drop out of a pretty decent business school in Seoul, and to become a dedicated full time artist. Right after quitting school, I remember I was lost (like any young adult should be at some point) and had no idea where to start and where to go, as an artist. Then I've found a community full of a lot of cool LGBTQ+ artist and performer friends and hardworking activists in Seoul's LGBTQ+ scene. Being inspired by their artistry and activism, I decided to use my art for not only sharing about my personal stories, but also for bringing queer Korean representations and advocating LGBTQ+ rights and activism, as a queer person myself. That's how I set a direction to navigate my way as an artist back then.

About 8 years later, in 2021, I'm still nothing more than a struggling artist, but at least I can proudly say that I've stayed committed and made a lot of artworks that I planned to and supposed to make; queer-related critical and political posters, illustrations featuring queer Koreans, bluntly gay photography, drag performances with a Korean touch, etc. And honestly I enjoy doing it - being a QUEER KOREAN artist unapologetically - so I will keep doing that. But I feel like in this new chapter of my life (meaning I turned 30), there's got to be a little bit of change. Not necessarily dropping what I have, but adding something new for sure. A new perspective, a new purpose, a new goal, something like that.

So here we go. Caring for our planet, and the environment is something everybody should have been doing already, and a lot of people have been doing so already, but recently the importance of it has grown so much and people are raising their voices on the issue. I've also been thinking about this for quite some time, because I've seen a lot of people doing so much for the LGBTQ+ rights and the community and I've been doing my best to do my part, but what happens to all these things we have achieved, when this world as we know comes to an end, due to our destruction and negligence?

So I put together the two biggest issues I care about at this time - the LGBTQ+ activism and saving/protecting our planet. With these designs (see below) as starters, I will be creating deeper and more sophisticated artworks in the future, as I will be researching and studying on the topic more. Me creating art with messages about the environment is not just to tell others to care more about the environment. It is a way for me to motivate myself to get to know the earth and its environment better, and practice sustainable living as much as possible, and more and more. For now, I plan on making stickers with these illustrations and bringing them to 2021 Pride Expo (formerly Seoul Pride Fair) along with my other queer stuff such as prints and merch. By the way, it's only mid May now so it's a little bit early but I am going to say this anyway. Happy pride season, everyone!