Meet Dahae Song, a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist whose mesmerizing black and white art evokes stories of vulnerability, self, love, peace and nature. Dahae's art has been featured in several performances and exhibitions around Toronto, and has been commissioned by companies like Samsung, Adidas, and Tokyo Smoke . A self-declared visual philosopher, Dahae's strong sense of self is visible throughout her feed, curated in ways that narrate her art and specific moments and emotions in her life. So it's no surprise that we were instantly captivated upon discovering her Instagram feed. Keep reading below and learn about what and who influences Dahae's art, what makes her most excited about her work, and what have been some of the greatest lessons she has learned thus far in her career.
Who is Dahae Song?
I am a thing of nature, a child of earth. I feel, I love. I learn and I grow. I create, the way a tree does.
Can you describe your personal style for us?
Minimal in its quality, functional in its wear, fluid in the way it serves my identity.
What is your first and most recent tattoo?
My first tattoo was the pair of eyes on the back of my neck from almost a decade ago, and the most recent is the pair of lotus flowers on my feet and ankles.
What or who influences your artwork?
God. The Universe. Mother nature, my mother, death, life, consciousness, my father, love, being loved, the plants in my home, the sun, a pine tree I saw growing out of a rock, rocks, the beauty and strength of my friends, pain, my homeland, the earth, oceans, air, water, my lived experiences, thoughts, masters that came before me, my contemporaries, drugs, music, loving those I adore, the search for peace, all of this, being one. The one.
When and why did you first become interested in painting? How has your art style changed since you first started?
I’ve always had an interest image making. In my materials I was more closely connected with drawing rather than painting, but that has reversed now. I’ve also adapted new ways and expanded my field of image making. Atoms to pixels, flat planes to spaces. My art grows and changes hand in hand with my personal growth.
What have been the greatest lessons you have learned since beginning your career?
Peace. To always be grateful and humble. How to be free. How to be truthful.
Three pet peeves?
Whatever induces anxiety or wastes time, inflicts unnecessary pain.
What are the first five things you do when you wake up in the morning?
Coffee and a joint, and then different every day.
What are you currently listening to?
Multicultural electronic live sets, the longer the better. Usually a 2 hour mix on repeat for days.
Favourite city to travel to? Seoul! At this point, I don’t even know if I can call it travelling. For the past two years I’ve spent equal or more time being in Seoul than in Toronto. It just deeply satisfies my every layer of self. What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Alone, doing whatever my heart desires or life asks me to do. What makes you most excited about your work? The process of creating is the most exciting- from the concept to final execution. Especially the first moment of visualization and the first moment of it’s complete manifestation. It’s the best part. Very short. Never enough.
What are your favourite Toronto-based labels?
My favourites are actually KOTN and S.P BADU (I am absolutely obsessed with this designer, look at this). I feel protected by the spirits of the creators when I wear them. Like eating locally grown produce, I know that its been loved and appreciated at its every process of life, and it feels good for my body.
Name three things you miss about your childhood? Not much, I consciously like to allow myself to experience life the way I did as a child. I hope to never lose the ability to be playful nor the drive derived out of curiosity. I even still carry on childhood habits, like picking leaves off of trees while walking down the street and fidgeting with it all day, or wildflowers bouquets to give to random people. I do miss living surrounded by family but I feel just as protected, loved and taken care of as I did as a child. Where are you from and where is home now? Feel free to expand on the idea of home. I am from Seoul, South Korea and I don’t define home as an objective space. I’ve been going places, living nowhere. Even at moments when I am settled down like I am now in Toronto, I know it’s only briefly. Home is wherever I am with my works. With them I feel grounded, deeply rooted, and I belong. I am also home when I float in the ocean. What are your favourite instagram accounts to follow? My friends’ as we live oceans apart and its nice to be able to observe their creative growths, journeys/shenanigans, general well being. @shootstuff @codycobb also heals me through the screen . I love them so much.Portraits by Valeria Myronenko