The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

Midway will be taking a break over the summer
After reminiscing with fond memories, Class of 2024 graduates in Rockefeller Chapel

Jiho Song fuses relaxation, expression through art

Miles Wilczak
Sophomore Jiho Song has turned art into more than just a hobby — it’s a way to express himself, a way to show to the world who he really is, and an outlet for to de-stress and have fun.

For Jiho Song, art runs in the family. Being influenced by his mom — who went to art school and is now an artist — Jiho picked up art when he was 4. It started with drawings of his dog, and has now evolved into a passion for figure drawing, landscape painting, and a way for Jiho to escape from the constant stress of school and extracurriculars.

Jiho, now a sophomore, has turned art into more than just a hobby. Art is a way for Jiho to express himself, a way to show to the world who he really is.

Art serves as an outlet for Jiho to de-stress and have fun, providing Jiho a way to express himself in measures other than words. While Jiho is known by many of his peers for his focus on figure drawing, he focuses on artistic styles from landscape painting to realism.

With each painting or drawing, Jiho finds the process is the most important step in achieving the best final result. Focusing on the small process-based steps help him unwind from the intricate details he faces with school. Even when the final product is not something he likes, Jiho finds the process of getting there, figuring out mistakes or discovering new techniques to be both enjoyable and valuable. 

“I really love the process,” he said. “A lot of the time, I won’t like what I make, but getting there and figuring out new ways to use paint or new ways to combine charcoal and marker is really really fun.”
When it comes to inspiration, Jiho looks toward Claude Monet’s art style. He was introduced to this during Philip Matsikas’s art class in fifth grade and has taken interest in it ever since. While Monet’s art is impressionist, it has laid the path for Jiho’s passion of landscape painting, which to this day is his favorite type of art.

“Even though his art is really abstract, I feel like that’s what kickstarted my landscape painting era/phase,” Jiho said.

In addition to drawing and painting, Jiho feels that art is a projection of himself. When looking at other artists’ work for admiration and inspiration, Jiho uses this idea to see what they find beautiful and have come up with, as well as what holds value to them.
“Art is a projection. Putting aside emotional art or protest art, I feel like it can kind of reveal what someone finds most beautiful, and I really like looking at different artists and seeing what they have come up with and what holds value to them,” Jiho said.

Jiho wants people to be able to see how a person or landscape is in real life when they look at his art. He focuses on making people able to see the motion of a figure and immerse themselves in the scene for landscapes.

“I feel like with figure drawing, I want them to be able to see how that person is in real life, and the same thing goes for landscapes,” Jiho said. “I want people to be able to see the motion of the pose, and for landscapes, I want them to be able to immerse themselves in that scene and hear what’s going on.”

Finding the balance between focusing on schoolwork and personal artwork took Jiho a lot of time to perfect. Last year, he spent around two hours a week on art, but when summer came around, Jiho found himself sketching, painting, and drawing six hours a day.
Jiho’s art teacher, Sunny Neater, really appreciates Jiho’s sense of humor, which is entangled in his work ethic and artistic skill.

“Jiho is fabulous, he has such a great sense of humor and he has not only enormous talent but has this amazing work ethic,” said Ms. Neater.

While hearing stories of people spending many hours on art can be a turn-off for many new artists, Jiho feels art is for everyone, something they can use to relieve their stress or take a break from work.

“You don’t need to be good at art in order to make something you feel proud of or can objectively look good,” Jiho said. “Sure, realism might take hours of practice, but there are so many ways to make art.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Kabir Joshi
Kabir Joshi, Assistant Editor
Kabir Joshi is a member of the Class of 2026 and is an assistant editor. As a ninth grader, he joined the U-High Midway during the 2022-23 school year. His favorite story that he has written is "Movie differentiates itself from others." Outside of the Midway, he runs cross country and loves spending time with his dog. Awards: 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, San Francisco convention: Excellent, review writing
Miles Wilczak
Miles Wilczak, Photographer
Miles Wilczak is a beginning photojournalist and a member of the Class of 2026. His favorite part of photojournalism is the creative freedom. Outside of class, Miles likes to go to concerts, watch movies and hang out with friends.

Comments (0)

All U-High Midway Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *