Artist Hye Sea creates eco-friendly "solar engravings" using nothing but magnifying glasses, scrap wood, and the sun.
Nature is a beautiful thing. What if we could harness that beauty to create equally stunning artwork? Hye Sea of Magnify The Sun answered that question. With a mission to create sustainable masterpieces, she learned the art of what she calls "solar engraving," that is, using the sun to engrave portraits onto pieces of wood. She has been developing solar engraving portraits ever since she was a child. When she was growing up and did not have the resources to purchase art equipment like paint and brushes, she would often follow her dad into his shop where he worked as a carpenter. He would hand her scrap wood and from there, solar engraving was born.
She would also sit outside with her older brother, magnifying glasses in tow, and set fire to leaves, paper, and anything else they had in arm's reach. The artist has been perfecting her skills since then. Now, she develops one-of-a-kind masterpieces and even takes commission requests from those who want a special piece of art that belongs entirely to them. Those who work with Hye's Magnify The Sun need only three pieces of equipment: sun rays, magnifying glasses, and some spare wood choppings. Then they are all set to craft a sustainable piece of art. According to them, they want to "create a waste less (art) world." "We are here to educate and inspire the global community of people who are committed to making a positive impact on our planet," the website reads. "Put simply, we value sustainability."
Hye says of her journey, "I grew up living a standard American life, with no formal education or insight on eco-friendly practices or the benefits of biodegradable anything, eating a typical westernized diet—disconnected from the source of the food I consumed, taught to kill insects on sight without a clear reason why their existence was no longer of importance and many other 'skills' that I’ve since had to unlearn and relearn." It is this process of learning and unlearning, she claims, that set the foundation for Magnify The Sun and its mission. She affirms, "This strongly influences the naturalist lifestyle I embrace and how I chose to set the foundation for Magnify The Sun. If we can create art and products at a higher standard to keep our planet, children, and families thriving, shouldn’t we?"
Indeed we should. Since Hye first launched her project, she has been featured by Tremas Films, at Washington, DC's Funk Parade, and at the first annual West Adams Block Party. Needless to say, she has been making waves (pun intended!) on the art scene. And people have taken notice. Those looking for an eco-friendly piece of art can log on to her website to commission artwork. So far, she has done solar engravings of animals, children, landscapes, family portraits, and more. The artist also has a shop through which you can purchase a masterpiece she has already crafted. Her work recently took off after she went viral on both Instagram and Twitter. Even NASA took note of her talent, leaving a comment on one of her Instagram posts. "Brilliant," they wrote. That truly is what Hye and her project Magnify The Sun are - nothing short of brilliance.