Heeyoung Park: The Seeds Inside Us

During her time at The Branch, animator Heeyoung Park reminds us how the fragile existence of our lives (the seed within us) inevitably holds enormous potential for power and beauty.

Our second artist in residence, Heeyoung Park focuses on what at first might seem like solely introspective works. Yet in looking so closely at the self, she inevitably brings to life observations about our connections with nature and universe around us.

Artist in residence Heeyoung Park works with a participant during “The Seed Inside Us” workshop at a local park in Osaka. (2018, SocieCity / The Branch)


Here at The Branch, Heeyoung hosts a workshop called “The Seeds Inside Us.” The workshops offers participants an exercise in finding, connecting to, and illustrating their own individual seeds—again, instrospection, and connection to the life cycle. Perhaps it sounds like pure metaphor, but in this case, the participants literally roam around a local forest park, hunting for seeds. Over a dozen beautiful examples are found.

A workshop participant shows their seed at "The Seed Inside Us" workshop (2018, The Branch / SocieCity)
A workshop participant shows their seed at “The Seed Inside Us” workshop (2018, The Branch / SocieCity)

On their return, a conversation is held about each person’s seed—and indeed, each of us finds a different and unique seed, from weeds, grasses, flowers, and trees. The reflections range from personal histories to future goals, and many remark on deeply entrenched feelings. Some share thoughts about their personal growth, remembering that they too, were seeds. Others, caught up in a hectic life, are simply thankful for an exercise in slowing down.

All of us seem to realize, just how much we enjoy the act of sitting in a grass field. Collecting. Drawing. Being with nature.

The drawings below, represent the seeds from some of the workshop participants:


Inside The Branch gallery space, Heeyoung mounts an installation of sound and a single, large scale drawing. In a way, perhaps this drawing is also Heeyoung’s seed. The way these works are installed forms a space for quiet reflection, and meditation on the idea of connectedness.

Heeyoung’s installation is accompanied by a piece of simple prose:

A little seed holds all the time
from the beginning of this world,
memories handed down from its parents
and those from the parents’ own parents

And all the memories of the living creatures
that created this seed together

One existence means all the others
have existed

Humans are just one of them
and in this too must be memories
remembered deep inside

Memories we have forgotten

The prose, and her work, speaks to a topic quite dear to us. Heeyoung reminds us, again, to remember what we are, and what we are a part of,  and how the small and fragile existence of each of our lives, inevitably holds within it the enormity, and the immense power and beauty present throughout the entire universe.

Here’s hoping we can each nurture, the seeds inside us.

–Patrick M. Lydon
Art & Media Director, City as Nature

About The Artist

Born in South Korea and living in France, animator Heeyoung Park uses traditional hand-drawn methods to shed a hopeful light on contemporary social and environmental issues, not by looking for broad solutions, but by looking to grow the seeds inside each of us.

Heeyoung’s residency at The Branch took place 13 April–5 May 2018

See more on Heeyoung’s Website

More Images from Heeyoung’s Residency

More from The Branch

Enjoy more events and stories from our ecological art space in Osaka: